A girlfriend and I volunteered this past weekend – picking up trash on San Diego’s coastline. They do beach clean-ups here locally every Saturday morning and we were both pretty amazed at the amount of people that come out to help.
It’s astounding though. That even after that many people volunteer, every weekend, to consecutively help time and time again, that ocean and beach litter is still such an extreme problem in our nation.
Litter is simply a result of bad behavior. You know the choice you are making, and you know that your decision to litter will have a harmful impact on something, somewhere, at some time – but because some may never see that unfortunate impact, people continue on with their bad behavior.
Litter being on the ground attracts more litter. And before you know it, your community is having (hopefully!) beach or ocean clean-ups every weekend because the amount of litter that’s piling up is just overwhelming.
We found your average objects – balloons, ribbon, plastic plastic and more plastic. The amount of plastic on the beach was unbelievable. It is 100% non-biodegradable, yet we continue to bring it and leave it.
Then we started finding items that seemed just plain wrong to leave behind.
According to the Global Marine Litter Information Gateway, 90% of all marine debris is plastic. And guess what that plastic does to marine life? It gets tangled up on their body and some even eat it. Animals are starting to mistake the litter they see, for the food they usually see and eat, since litter is starting to become more prevalent than food for them.
Beaches offer a tranquil and naturally peaceful escape from the busy and the sometimes chaotic life we’ve all grown accustomed to. Why wouldn’t we all want to keep something beautiful that we rely on for summer bbq’s, and weekend walks? Hell, pick up trash for selfish reasons then.
When we finished picking up our trash we high fived each other (pretty standard), feeling so accomplished – but then I wondered if we really had made a difference.
I mean, we were just 2 people, picking up trash for a few hours.
But it doesn’t matter. Each one of us has a responsibility to do something for the greater good. So do something. Now. Even if it’s not picking up trash on a beach – you may not care about litter at all. But find something you do care about, and help fight for it. Fight for it while a difference can still be made.
I saw this great quote the other day on Pinterest (FYI I’m bordering on an obsession with pinning right now), and am thinking this fits today’s post perfectly.
And do something.
Before it’s too late.