Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our Daily Ocean: Day 124

Yesterday, I had big plans to go out to Wrightsville Beach to do a 20 minute beach clean up.  BUT...  with the public hearing being the previous evening and an overcast dismal day... I just couldn't find the motivation to go.  UNTIL... I picked up the phone and called my friend Tracy.  Thanks to Tracy offering to meet me at the beach... I made it to Wrightsville Beach to do our 124th beach clean up!!

SO... big plans? You ask.  (right)  Not long ago, as I saw my friend Sara who writes The Daily Ocean blog-- aka my inspiration for "Our Daily Ocean"-- was coming up on her 100 clean up countdown to her 365 non-consecutive day goal of collecting, weighing and documenting beach trash in Santa Monica... I thought "wouldn't it be cool if we did a joint clean up on her 265th?"  A way to kick off the countdown and pay homage to the work she's done-- over 970 lbs of trash removed from her beach-- and the community she's grown through her Daily Ocean efforts. 
Part of her community efforts are getting people involved in cleaning up our world by asking them to contribute to her Community Collection.  Take 20 minutes and report what you find to Sara.  It's easy and a great lesson in what we can do when we work together collectively.  My contribution to Sara's community collection is a whopping 240 lbs of trash removed from Wrightsville Beach!!  
Before heading out to Wrightsville Beach, I was talking to Sara about a number of things including the recent voting down of proposed ordinance to ban smoking on Wrightsville Beach.  As our conversation ended, I asked Sara if she would do me a favor and count the cigarette butts she finds during her 20 minute clean up.  Santa Monica being a smoke-free beach was tugging at me.  I've done two cleanups with Sara and I never recall picking up any cigarette butts.  I needed to have my curiosities settled..   
Last night, I went to Wrightsville Beach with my friend Tracy.  On an overcast day with cool winds and a light drizzle, we picked up 458 cigarette butts in 20 minutes.  Are you ready??  Sara picked up 10.  TEN!!!!  10 cigarette butts in 20 minutes!!  Our average is 17 PER minute!!  What do you think that means??  My daughter has an opinion. (...and I'm going to have to agree with her.)

So as the outcome of the WB public hearing has given me renewed focus on this issue and a clear sense of direction... Sara will also start a new chapter of The Daily Ocean.  She writes:

But here's what Danielle and I came up with after talking yesterday. We're stepping up our collaboration. I wish we'd thought of this earlier, but I'm thrilled about the idea going forward. 

I will count how many butts I collect on my 20 min. cleanups and keep the tally for my last 100. 

So far, the difference is just staggering. 

I collected 10 cigarette butts in 20 min. last night.

Danielle collected 458. 

How about a re-vote B.O.A.? Cause I can tell you, that after 100 of these comparisons, if you have a heart, you'll be ashamed of yourself for turning away from the action neccesary to enact a ban. 

There was a time when I thought to myself, "There are so many people out there trying to make a difference in our world and what would that be like if we could come together.  What kind of difference could we make together versus being one person?"  (if you recall, I had that thought and I contacted Sara... I think it's obvious what is going to happen now.)

20 minutes on March 9, 2012 at Access 17
Litter by weight: 11.8 oz
Cigarette butts: 458
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 124 days: