Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 214

A year ago, Tuesday, I did my 168th beach clean up picking up 225 cigarette butts in 20 minutes.  At the time, I was putting all my efforts into bringing awareness to how beach smoking bans helped reduce cigarette litter and encouraging WB residents to get out and vote.  And then on November 6, 2012 the residents of Wrightsville Beach voted to make WB the first smoke-free beach in North Carolina making my 168th beach clean up my last pre-smoking ban clean up!! 

Yes, it's been a year already!  
With the passing of the smoke-free beach ordinance, I found immense gratitude in being part of something so significant to my area.  A year after the fact, I still feel the pride wash over me when I step onto the beach.  And even more so when I calculate the difference pre and post smoke-free ordinance.

Comparing March 2012- March 2013 where I picked up an average of 222 cigarette butts per clean up to April 2013- present where I now pick up an average of 60 butts per cleanup....  

there is a 73% decrease in cigarette litter at Wrightsville Beach!!  YAY for a smoke-free beach!!!
Now as I work to complete 365 non-consecutive beach cleanups, without the push of fixing the cigarette litter problem....  I sometimes find myself looking for inspiration, motivation and purpose to get out to the beach.  This past Tuesday, I received a simple reminder from my friend Rachel and her 3 amazing kids.
There's nothing... I tell you nothing... more inspiring than seeing young kids get excited about helping make a difference.  I loved watching Rachel's kids enthusiasm, having conversations with them and hearing their observations about what they were picking up on the beach.  Thank you Rachel, for suggesting that we do a beach cleanup together!!  Let's do it again, soon!

20 minutes on November 5, 2013 at Access 25
Litter by weight:  1.4 oz
Cigarette butts: 68
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 214 days: