Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 230

When I parked my car at Wrightsville Beach, the sky was overcast with a chance of rain.  I didn't pay much attention to the possibility of rain, because I had planned on doing this beach clean up many months ago when I scheduled my kids' science class at Airlie Gardens.  So I hopped out of my car, zipped up my jacket and grabbed my bag... joining the only other people willing to be at the beach with impending rain-- surfers.
There have been many times when I've been at the beach and have had it all to myself... but even then, I can see people in the distance.  Not this day.  The only people I could see were paddling out, watching the waves and surfing the good(ish) ones.
For the first half of my beach cleanup, I walked through a light mist wondering if the surfers could even feel it.  Then with about 8 minutes to go, the mist turned into a sprinkle.  "No problem," I said.  Then the wind picked up.  "Shit."  I had to walk sideways to keep the rain out of my face and in a matter of minutes my jeans were wet and my jacket dripping.  As I went along, I picked up the best I could to finish my beach cleanup.  Then I sprinted to my car and just as I closed my car door the sprinkling turned into a steady rain.  Perfect timing.

20 minutes on January 14, 2014 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 1 oz
Cigarette butts: 8                                 

Total cigarettes removed: 57,627

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 229

My friend Kim and I have been meaning to do a beach cleanup together for quite awhile now.  We've emailed, texted, called always saying "we should meet up for a beach cleanup soon!"  But for whatever reason, "soon" took us around 2 years. Some things are worth the wait.
As with all of these "Our Daily Ocean" beach cleanups, our beach cleanup lasted 20 minutes... and while some days 20 minutes can seem like a long time.... my beach cleanup with Kim seemed to pass by so quickly.  Good company and good conversation have a way of doing that. ;)

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last March, Kim attended the Plastic-Free Living presentation that I did at UNCW with Beth Terry and Bonnie Monteleone and left with motivation to do her best to live with less plastic.  From time to time, she gives updates on how she's finding ways around using plastic and as always shares her creativity and inspiration on her blog: Kim Beller Designs 

When walking to my car after our beach cleanup together, I noticed that there was a (new) sticker on my car. It was a bit of a shock at first until I realized what it said and that Kim had added it to my (ever growing) collection.  love.

20 minutes on January 10, 2014 at Access 18
Litter by weight: 6.4 oz
Cigarette butts: 188
That's my cat Fluffy, I didn't find her at the beach ;)
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 229 days:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 228

Happy New Year y'all!  Tis the season for reflecting, refocusing and resolving.  Last year this time, I was reflecting on the passing of the WB smoke-free beach ordinance... optimistic for what was to come.... not having any clue that the outcome could be as good as it's been.

With the New Year, I'm introducing a change to one of the pages of this blog.  At the top, there's a tab that says "Our Daily Ocean".  I've made some updates to the page because as this project was originally started to help bring awareness to the problem of cigarette litter on Wrightsville Beach--with the passage of the smoke-free beach ordinance--it has now evolved to show how beach smoking bans can (and do) help reduce cigarette litter.  With the updates, I've included monthly as well as yearly tallies and averages.  

AND.... I just have to share here that the average cigarette butts removed for 2010 was 379, 2011 was 322 and 2012 was 249.  BUT, the 2013 average cigarette butts removed per cleanup was 72!!  That's a HUGE HUGE decrease from the previous years because that's a 70-80% decrease!!  I'd say that the Town of Wrightsville Beach did a fantastic job in the first year implementing the smoke-free beach ordinance!! 

View the all the tallies and averages from 2010 to present here. 
Moving forward this year, I will be heading back to the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen to share the positive news and encourage the new board to continue with education and enforcement of the ban.    I've also committed to completing this project of 365 non-consecutive beach cleanups this year.  As of now, I have 137 to go!  It's a lot to do in a short amount of time... but I'm up for trying!  

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bring on the beach cleanups!

20 minutes on January 1, 2014 at Access 16
Litter by weight: 6.7 oz
Cigarette butts: 62
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 228 days: