Aug 08.11

Organizing a Beach Cleanup in your Community

LUSH Life >> Community

For every seashell on our beaches, there is a piece of plastic. All this litter is damaging sensitive shoreline ecosystems, hurting marine life and threatening the well-being of beachgoers. Organizing a beach cleanup will not just remove existing litter, but will educate and engage the local community to do their part in keeping beaches litter-free in the future.

Here are some tips and tricks for organizing a beach cleanup in your area!

Research Your Beach

Look into all the beaches in your area and organize a cleanup on the one that’s in the greatest need. Once you pick a location, visit before the event to determine your plan of action and gather directions and instructions for attendees.

Plan Ahead and Get Permission

When picking a date for your cleanup, choose a day at least a month in advance. This allows enough time to spread the word and recruit volunteers. It’s ideal to hold your event during low tide when the most amount of garbage is exposed, so check your local tide tables! Whether your beach is private or public, be sure to seek permission from the correct authorities before holding your event.

Team Up

Don’t go at it alone! There are already many existing organizations looking to save our coastlines, and sometimes all they need are some extra hands to tackle all that trash. Check if there are organizations already operating in your area—maybe all you need to do is join in. If you’re the first beach cleanup organizer in your area, check out our Charity Pot partners San Diego Coast Keeper and 5 Gyres for additional information and resources to make the most of your cleanup.

Get the Word Out

Use the local newspaper and social media outlets to raise awareness about shoreline pollution and spread the word about your event. By educating the public, you’re more likely to get enthusiastic and passionate volunteers who will really make a difference during your event.

Collect and Submit Data

As you make your way down the beach, be sure to record what type of garbage you’re picking up with a data sheet and photos. This information is useful to organizations such as the Ocean Conservancy who analyze and publish this data, helping to raise awareness and further reduce our impact on the world’s oceans.

Turn it into a Party

Garbage isn’t always glamorous, but it can be fun! Put on some music, split into teams and make picking up trash into a friendly competition. When the job is done, be the first ones to appreciate the clean beach by celebrating all your hard work with a waste-free picnic or cookout for all the volunteers.

If each one of us does our part to reduce our waste and clean up our beaches, we can make our oceans a cleaner, safer place—one piece of sandy plastic at a time.

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