Ocean and beach pollution has become an increasing problem worldwide, affecting many ecosystems, habitats, and species. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, human activities are the main cause of this issue, with microplastic being a persistent pollution problem. With our increasing consumption of plastic that is too often not recycled or thrown away properly, this plastic debris is carried by the rain into storm drains, sewers, rivers, creeks, or streams and eventually reaches the ocean. It is then often ingested by animals confusing it for food, sinks to the sea bed, or floats around and end up reaching other coasts. Beaches are also increasingly polluted by trash left behind in the sand and taken away by the waves.
Dealing with such important and critical environmental issues can feel overwhelming on an individual scale, this is why local efforts can be put in place to reunite our efforts.
This year, you have once again the opportunity to help! The annual Coastal Clean-Up Day has been modified in order to adapt to Covid-19 restrictions. This month, every Saturday morning from 9am to 12pm, has been dedicated to neighborhoods and open spaces’ cleanup. Instead of gathering at your local beach, like you might have done in the past, you can still make a difference for the coast by removing marine debris from your local park, your neighborhood’s street and sidewalk, or the nearest shore! A great occasion to spend time with your family and enjoy the fresh air while helping your environment. If you did not have the opportunity to participate in the first three Saturdays of the month, you still have a chance to do it next Saturday!
You can of course organize beach, coast, or neighborhood clean-ups any time of the year, and encourage people around you to participate to increase the efforts. In this unprecedented time, don’t forget to protect yourself and others, practice social distancing, wear a mask, and avoid gathering while cleaning up.
Another option to contribute to the decrease of ocean and beach pollution is to opt for glass, stainless steel, wood, bamboo, or other reusable materials as alternatives for your everyday consumption. Bioplastics are a great option as well, as they are compostable plastics made from natural material rather than petroleum.
Living on a coast and enjoying its beautiful environment is a privilege, it is our duty to protect and preserve it the best we can, even through small daily actions! Feel free to connect with us this month and any time you participate in a clean-up, by sharing comments, photos, or videos on our Instagram @brightensolarco.
- Explore Ecology, https://exploreecology.org/event/coastal-cleanup-month/2020-09-26/
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, https://www.noaa.gov/oceans-coasts
- Eartheasy, https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/the-best-eco-friendly-alternatives-for-the-plastic-in-your-life/