This July, we hosted a local beach cleanup at Riis Landing in New York in partnership with the non-profit Oceanic Global. Our community rallied to celebrate environmental awareness through tidying up the beach front and engaging in thoughtful conversation around our daily consumption habits. Alexa Gantous, the founder of TrashTalk Studio, joined us to facilitate a discussion to guide our group on their journey towards ecological empathy.
“The issues impacting our oceans are so multifaceted, that each one of us needs to play our part if we want things to change. With this in mind, our mission with Oceanic Global has always been to engage new audiences in environmentalism, and to broaden the conversation surrounding ocean conservation to those who aren’t already involved in the blue or green movement,” says Lea d’Auriol, Oceanic Global’s founder. “We all, as individuals, have the power to become more responsible consumers and to be part of the solution. Plastic Free July was a great movement which challenged over 2,000 people to cut out single-use plastics for a month. They note that it takes 21 days for people to adapt to new habits so by taking a month to be aware and refuse single-use items, people will continue to do so once the month is complete.”
We encourage you to participate in your own local beach cleanup or to even start your own informal one. Each individual can better the ocean’s ecosystem by playing their part in keeping the beaches clean. Our top 3 reasons to get involved and take action are below – plus some of our favorite photos from our cleanup to inspire you:
1. You’ll become more aware of your own lifestyle.
You see, the cleanup never really ends that day at the beach. All it takes is two hours of picking up trash off the beach and for most people the mindset is completely transformed. No matter how hard they try; grocery stores, gas stations, parks, trails, harbors, beaches, & anywhere else they might travel, the pollution around sticks out like a sore thumb. Simply walking past trash or stepping over it after working your butt off at a cleanup becomes extremely difficult. There is also a really good chance you will consider a more eco-friendly option/company when making common purchases.
2. Meet and engage with like-minded people and your local community.
If you show up for a beach cleanup, chances are the people who are also there have an active interest in protecting our environment. Joining your local efforts is a great way to engage with like-minded people and share in a common goal (and make some new friends).
3. You’re saving marine animals.
Marine animals will often mistake small pieces of plastic for food, and over time consuming it becomes too much for their bodies. Many of them will eventually succumb to the plastic waste. Study after study has shown that a large number of marine animal deaths are now a direct result of marine debris. All it takes is one tiny bottle cap, cigarette butt, or something as simple as a straw and animals can suffer an unimaginable fate.