Monday, May 14, 2012

Our Daily Ocean: Day 139

Sunday morning, my husband had an interview with News 14 at Wrightsville Beach regarding the still building support for Smoke-Free Wrightsville Beach and Cape Fear Surfrider's commitment to Wrightsville Beach.  It was a gorgeous morning to be at the beach and the Mother's Day crowd was quickly building...
Having only done a handful of beach clean ups in the morning, I'm always surprised by the amount of trash to be found on the beach so early.  No doubt much is left over from the previous night... sending a message to the new beach goers of the day that it's "ok" to leave their trash on the beach too.  The whole "everyone else is doing it" type of thing... 
Every beach clean up we do, it is obvious that the most found items on the beach are plastic.  Cigarette butts, plastic bottles, plastic caps, wrappers, toys, lids, straws, etc. they're all on Wrightsville Beach and littering most places of the world.  I continually ask myself, "How can I change that?"  An easy first step is to pick it up when I see it... but I know that doesn't "fix" it.  For me, I feel it's so important to reduce the amount of disposable plastic I use because I want to help change the "norm".  As a mom, I want my kids to understand and see firsthand that our actions or inactions impact the world.  We can all help change the norm of what "everyone else is doing" by showing others that there's a different way. 

...and one thing that is doable for everyone is to use reusable bags in lieu of plastic bags.  Yesterday, we found 4 in just a matter of minutes.  No doubt it's time long overdue to ban plastic bags here in New Hanover County.  I know that it won't be too long as the "Ban the Bag" movement is growing across our country/world.  Recently, the city and county of Honolulu signed a bill to enact a plastic bag ban.  This is BIG news because as all the other counties in Hawaii have already passed legislation banning plastic bags... this makes Hawaii the first state to ban the bag!!!  AWESOME.

20 minutes on May 13, 2012 at Access 16
Cigarette butts: 136
Straws: 9

Total amount of cigarettes removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 139 days: