Every year on Memorial Day weekend, thousands of families go to the beach to celebrate. However, after a weekend of fun in the sun, our beautiful beaches are left with tons of waste that beachgoers could have easily removed themselves.
This weekend, start with yourself and take the initiative to be green. Be mindful and follow these easy tips to keep yourself in check:
- Say no to single-use products. Use resusable containers, cloth bags, refillable stainless steel bottles and spoons and forks from your set at home. You should especially avoid single-use plastic, which dominates the plastic pollution we find in our ocean and is a short-lived product made from oil. Worst yet, all of the plastic that finds its way into our ocean will never fully go away. By using reusable cups, silverware and bags, you reduce pollution and save money!
- Forget about expanded polystyrene foam products (commonly inaccurately classified as Styrofoam). These cafeteria-style plates, cups and to-go boxes pollute all of our public spaces. In 2010, our volunteers removed more than 25,000 pieces of plastic foam from our beaches and surrounding areas. Unfortunately, this plastic foam does not biodegrade and animals may accidentally ingest plastic debris in the ocean.
- Leave only footprints in the sand. Surprisingly, our volunteers remove plastic footwear from our beaches. The most environmentally friendly choice it to go to the beach barefoot. Remember things like bottle caps, food wrappers and lighters are made of plastic and often get left behind. Over time, these little things build up!
- Volunteer to reduce pollution. Bring some friends and join San Diego Coastkeeper at our Fiesta Island Cleanup in Mission Bay on Saturday from 9-11am. And don’t forget to bring your own bucket and reusable gloves to make even your volunteering sustainable.
Don’t forget that our ocean’s health depends on us. Among the celebrations and fun, pollution can happen. Just be aware, take charge and green up your Memorial Day weekend.