You’ve arrived at the beach. You feel the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and- the crinkle of a chip bag beneath your feet? Unfortunately, your beach day isn’t the only thing that’s being ruined by the presence of trash. That’s why the benefits of a beach cleanup is more than just skin deep.
Where does it all come from?
The story of how litter came to crash your beach bash is a familiar one. Sometimes it starts with litterbugs at the beach. Other times, improperly disposed of items, like shoes, lighters, straws, and other members of Canada’s Dirty Dozen find themselves swept into waterways. They flow into the open arms of rivers and waterways, as if on a quest to wreak havoc on coastlines near and far. But wait- there’s an easy way to salvage your beach holiday, and the environment as a whole while you’re at it!
Canadians across the nation are getting together this summer to work towards turning the plastic tide. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is an initiative that has helped collect and properly dispose of more than 1.2 million kg of waste, across 19,000 clean up events.
Why join a beach cleanup?
There are many reasons to get active and join a cleanup event. First and foremost, now more than ever we need to collect the trash that harms wildlife and pollutes our environment. We have created more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic since 1950, and the vast majority of it ends up in landfills or finds its way into every nook and cranny of our natural environment. That’s a lot of garbage, which means that we need a lot of hands if we want a chance at keeping up.
Secondly, by taking part in a beach cleanup you come face-to-face with everyday products that end up polluting our environment. This confrontation with trash may have you thinking twice about using plastic cutlery, a straw, or a plastic shopping bag. In a place like Canada, we are often separated in time and distance from some of the worst effects of plastic pollution. Making the choice to confront our sometimes trashy consumer and disposal choices might have a positive impact on our future decision making.
Let’s all pitch in to make sure on our next beach visit- it’s just sand beneath our feet.
Are you in Toronto and keen to do your part to keep our shoreline clean? Join the Blue Flag Canada Beach Clean Up on July 27th. Bonus: this event features free yoga, live music, and snacks!