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Some of our beaches and the oceans are in deplorable conditions. They resemble landfills more than they resemble beaches now. We have to take immediate action, or else, in a few years, the oceans will be clogged full of trash, and our sandy white beaches will be no more.
Here are a few things that we all can do to play our part in being responsible citizens and save our beaches.
As they say, change begins at home. You can’t preach to the people about keeping the beaches clean when you yourself are contributing to the dirtiness. It goes without saying, take care of your own trash. Do not leave food items lying around. Do not throw beer bottles and cans on the beach. Pick up whatever you brought, gather them in a small trash bag, and carry it home with you to dispose of responsibly. If everybody started minding their own trash, we wouldn’t have much of a problem to deal with either.
Plastic is our planet’s enemy. It stubbornly stays on the earth long after its use and long after we have passed away. It is ugly to look at for us, but it is downright deadly for our plant and ocean life. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, but it does break down into tiny little pieces that are eaten by our fish, eventually killing them. Sea birds, turtles, and other gorgeous ocean life get stuck in plastic bags and shoppers and suffocate to death. If that is not enough to rouse you to action, know that plastic has found its way into our food chains as well. We are consuming micro pieces of plastic along with our water and water, and it does not bode well for us.
Beach cleanups are super fun. Not only are they brilliant for the environment and get so much more done than any organization can do on its own, but they are also fun and a great way for you to exercise and socialize. Join a beach cleanup happening near you on your local beach and lend them a hand in cleaning up the place. It is your beach as much as it is theirs, and you owe it to your community to help out as well. If there are no beach cleanups happening in your area, you can always take the lead and organize one yourself. Get your friends to join and go around your neighborhood to convince them to come together for the greater good as well.
You can take it up a notch and adopt a certain patch of the beach to care for as your own. You can take ownership of what’s going on at the beach and take it under your wing. You can organize beach cleanups here, recruit other people to help keep it clean, and organize activities that help to spread awareness and better habits among the locals. If everybody adopted a certain part of the beach and took care of it, we would all be in a much better place, and it wouldn’t even require so much effort, as people would only be responsible for cleaning up certain small areas of it instead of cleaning up large sections of the beach.
No matter how much we try to clean up, things will never change long-term until we educate people and raise awareness about how our littering is damaging the beaches. We need to change behaviors, educate our youth, and bring about a real difference. Until we do that, people will keep damaging the beaches while a small portion of the people keep cleaning up after them. We need to be proactive instead of reactive. Awareness and education are the only way forward.
Though individual actions can take us a long way, we all must urge our local governments to take this task upon themselves too. They must pass bills forbidding littering at the beach and make policies to protect and preserve the ocean and its wildlife. With strong laws in place, people can be held accountable if they go against the rules and harm the environment. Simple fines for littering can be imposed so that people think twice before tossing their empty bottles on the beach and leaving their trash for others to pick up. These people might not be concerned with the climate and environment, but they will, for sure, refrain from things when their money is at stake.
A government-organized cleanup would also make a larger difference because of the additional resources that the government has at its disposal. We must all write to our local representatives and urge them to take our beaches seriously.
There are some organizations working to alleviate the conditions of our beaches. They are working tirelessly to save our beaches, and clean up our oceans, eventually saving millions of lives in the sea and on the land. These organizations are often running on limited finances and resources, even though the work they do should get the utmost importance and prominence. They need our help and support; physical, emotional, and financial. Help them out whenever and however you can. Raise awareness amongst people about what they do and how they are helping us without us even knowing about it. Urge people to donate to their cause so they can have access to better tools and resources to do their job more efficiently. By contributing to these organizations dedicating to cleaning our oceans and saving our beaches, we become a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
Here are some organizations to join in the effort: www.happybreath.com/activism