For me, it all started with learning about this mom’s crusade. Then I went on a family vacation to one of my most favorite spots, Lake Michigan. I went to the beach one day and a McDonald’s plastic straw floated past me in the water, I was disgusted to say the least. (Isn’t it funny that you can tell it’s from McDonald’s because of the trademark yellow and red stripes!?!)
So I picked it up.
Then, a Cheetos bag floated past me looking worn and weathered like it had been lost at sea for months.
So I picked it up.
As I walked back to my blanket I picked up a few more items in the sand. In just the short time it took me to walk to my blanket nearby this is what I collected:
This pile had to be packed into our sand bucket and carried home to be thrown away because there was not a trash can in sight at this public beach. However, they did make an effort to put in two porta potties. So, why not a simple trash can?
I’m the type of person who notices many things in my surroundings, from good to bad so while back at home I decided to take a look around my local metropolitan beach. And I noticed A LOT! So I came back with my trusty garbage bag and rubber glove. I had to muster the nerve to start looking like a convict picking up trash in public but I soon overcame and started picking. In 20 minutes on a small part of the beach this is what I picked up:
This pile contains plastic straws, plastic bottle caps, and most of all cigarette butts, over 300! It was actually hard to stop picking them up because they were everywhere, but my back hurt so I had to stop.
I forwarded my findings to the park office and requested they install cigarette butt collection receptacles. If you saw piles of 300 cigarette butts on the beach you’d be grossed out, right? So, why is it ok when they’re spread out all over the land? It’s not!
If you live in the Metro Detroit area I encourage you to contact your Metro Park manager and request the butts be put in their place. (feel free to take my picture to attach in a email to them)
If you live elsewhere I encourage you to take a look at your surroundings – whether it’s on your walk or while relaxing at the beach with your family. Just pick something up and keep going. It doesn’t take long and can make your world a cleaner place. If you feel the urge contact your local authorities and ask them to install garbage cans, cigarette butt receptacles, porta potties (hopefully you don’t have to pick that stuff up!), etc.
Keep it clean!