Recently, I've been hearing that there's an increase in cigarette litter at Wrightsville Beach and was even interviewed by Lumina News about the topic. I went to the beach with the sole purpose of seeing the increase with my own eyes.
But that didn't happen because on this beautiful warm fall day, I only found 3 littered cigarettes. :)
It has been nearly 15 months since I last posted a beach cleanup. Truth be told, I did some beach cleanups... took some pictures and then... well, I deleted them. I decided that needed a break. I needed time think about how I wanted to proceed with my remaining 111 beach cleanups.
When I first started the beach cleanup project in 2010, my kids were 8, 6, and 4. Because of their young ages, our schedule was very laid-back. It was super easy for us to pop over to the beach on any given day and for me to sit down at my computer in the evening and type up a blogpost. Now my kids are 13, 11, & 9... and our days are filled. It's a good full and one that I want to work beach cleanups back into.
So... in order to get back to the beach, I am making some changes from beach to blog on how I approach all future beach cleanups.
Time limit: I've stuck to the 20 minute limit for the previous 253 cleanups. Now, I want to give what time I have whether it's 5 minutes or an hour.
Weighing: No more.
Sorting/Counting: I think that I'm done sorting. It's work. A lot of work. I'll continue to count.
Blogging: I found that not wanting to blog about my beach cleanups was my primary reason for needing a break. From now on, if I have something to say, I'll say it. If I don't, I'll just post a photo with the cleanup stats.
End date: I do beach cleanups because they make me feel good. There is no time frame for finishing.
So without further ado.... my oldest son and I did beach clean up #254 together on Saturday afternoon. The week prior to doing this cleanup, our area had major flooding due to an insane amount of rain. Knowing that the beach would be inundated with "street" litter, I made the conscious decision to not dig through the wrack line. Instead, I decided to focus on litter that came directly from beachgoers. What I found? Out of the 57 cigarette butts we picked up, 8 were freshly littered. The rest were found old and washed out on top of the wrack. Still old and withered... they're littered cigarette butts. And even though they may not have been littered on the beach, they've ended up there.... sigh....