Last Thursday was Earth Day, and to celebrate and help keep our Earth and oceans clean I participated in a beach clean up with Eco Dive Center. Our local California beaches really get trashed by the multitudes of people who show up, enjoy the day and take off without doing a good sweep of their area. People also are lazy and don't take the the time to walk 50 ft up the beach to one of the hundreds of trash cans available. We all want to our beaches to be clean and pristine, and from a distance they don't look too bad.
Its when you get in the sand and take a closer look that you see all the trash left by people. This trash gets washed out to sea and drifts into the oceans, or washed back up on shore.
You can find almost every type of trash on the beach, from straws, plastic bags, food wrappers, balloons, styrofoam, paper, condoms, band aids, even discarded toys, you name it its probably out there.
You even find things you wouldn't expect like discarded quarts of motor oil. Something like this probably fell off someones boat carelessly then was washed ashore with the tide.
What amazes me, is while these pics may make is seem like this is a horrible, really dirty beach it really wasn't. Our clean up was in the middle of April, which is before the times when these beaches are heavily used by summer visitors. One day of heavy beach traffic will produce so much more waste and garbage along our shores than you can imagine. All of this because most people are too lazy to keep their trash contained, or to even bother with packing it all up and tossing it on their way out of the beach.
Of course, part of the fun in taking part of an ocean clean up is the little treasures you discover along with all the trash. I came across an itty bitty snorkel, rose gem hair thing, shovel, and an animated character compass (looked like it came from a Happy Meal) all eventually went into the trash, but they were fun to find!
A few of the more interesting finds...
At the end of the trash pickup we all celebrated, drank and relaxed as the sun went down with a huge bonfire. Time to get rid of some of those huge pallets that start build up around the shop! Of course burning something seems odd for an Earth Day activity, but its fun, and who doesn't love watching a big 'ol bonfire!
And besides, bonfires are also great for roasting marshmallows! mmmmm s'mores!