I’ve decided the best way to pick up trash is to do it with others! Specifically, your KIDS. They reach down more easily and are able to really dial in on the teeny-tiny plastic lids and micro shreds of purple straws.
Kids Are Closer to the Ground
It also helps to have said trash strewn everywhere around you so that no matter where you step, there’s MORE trash. This was the case today along the ENTIRE south facing beaches in Southern California. Specifically, Sunset Beach adjacent to Bolsa Chica State Beach and Seal Beach. Trash was everywhere. Recent storms have made the beach an obstacle course of garbage.
Picking up trash on the beach limits the total distance of the beach walk but that’s okay as it’s a different kind of workout. One, for the quads and glutes.
Two, it’s a workout for the brain. (This is why it’s good to do trash pick ups with your friends and family.) Because most rational human beings may get completely overwhelmed by the absolutely obscene amounts of trash. This is when you look to your pal and thankfully see that she’s picked up a wiffle ball and that might be of use.
Or you may see your wife who’s now coaching the other child on how to scoop just enough mucky sand into the giant half-broken lego type thing to make a mud pie.
These little diversions help a LOT. My four-year-old has absolutely no questions about where all this stuff comes from. It’s just a giant archeological dig for her and that’s fine. My 18-month-old pretty much goes to whatever is brightest. That’s anything from those little condiment plastic holders to balloons to NO DON’T PUT THAT IN YOUR MOUTH!
So get on out there and pick up some trash with some loved ones. Today for me it was a good way to see the power of the ocean up close and the power we humans have to absolutely ignore the crisis that’s on our doorstep. To put a number on it, we’re talking about 8 MILLION METRIC TONS of plastic that go into oceans annually. https://www.earthday.org/2018/04/05/fact-sheet-plastics-in-the-ocean/
There are beach clean ups, trail pick ups, leave no trace workshops and volunteer opportunities EVERYWHERE. My friends at Trash Free Earth would love to have you! https://www.trashfreeearth.org/
The same is true for the fantastic people at Heal the Bay https://healthebay.org/take-part/ or 2 Minute Beach Clean https://oceangreatideas.com/2014/09/08/ocean-great-ideasthe-2-minute-beach-clean-movement-people-everywhere-changing-the-world/
But don’t wait for next Saturday! Start today by just picking up something and putting it in the bin.
Oh, and you might find a fully functional frisbee, so that’s fun =)