Four Ways You Can Have an Impact During World Beach Month and Beyond
As college football season revs up and summer winds down to a close, your dreams of sticking your toes in the sand and turning your face to the sun may be shifting to the latest fall fashions, plans to go leaf peeping with friends and which arts and crafts festivals to add to your social calendar. However, since September marks World Beach Month, it’s important to remember that environmentalism never takes a holiday. With several wonderful beaches within a 5 to 6-hour drive of Gwinnett, we all need to do our part – at home and on the road – to protect the beaches of Georgia’s Golden Isles, South Carolina’s Folly Beach, Alabama’s Gulf Shores, and Florida’s Perdido Key… just to name a few. To offer a little World Beach Month inspiration, your friends at Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful have pulled together the following four suggestions…
- Limit Your Use of Plastic: Probably one of the best ways we can do our part to protect our beaches and oceans is to start rethinking and reshaping our relationship with single-use plastic. National Geographic reports that an estimated 73% of litter found on beaches is plastic – from plastic grocery bags to plastic water bottles. Some ways you can start limiting your personal use of plastic is the make the switch to reusable containers and water bottles. Stop buying single-use water bottles, keep reusable grocery bags in the car for when you go shopping, start researching zero waste laundry cleaner and travel products, invest in a reusable straw to use at restaurants, and swap your disposable plastic razors for a metal razor with replaceable heads – just to name a few quick, easy and impactful measures you can take right away.
- Enhance Your Shell Seeking Excursions with Little Litter Picking: In the event that you ARE lucky enough to steal away to the beach in the months to come, bring a bucket for collecting shells and a bag for collecting trash. While it may not feel like much, by simply picking up litter and putting it in its place in a trash receptacle on your way back to the car, you will be minimizing humankind’s negative footprint on a beautiful beach and decrease the likelihood that litter will wind up in the ocean once the tide comes in.
- Volunteer for Local Cleanup Events: Of course, you don’t have to travel all the way to the beach to have an impact. Many of Georgia’s rivers and streams flow to the Gulf and Atlantic Oceans. By removing litter from local water sources and the land that surrounds them, you’re helping to decrease the likelihood that litter will be washed downstream. There are two local events in September that involve local water sources, including The Yellow River Trash Bash on September 10 (https://bit.ly/3yWNOaU) and the Lake Lanier Shore Sweep (https://bit.ly/3CgCMPQ) on September 24. Be on the lookout for Great Gwinnett Wetlands in Spring 2023, too, and take part in our year-round Adopt-A-Stream and Stormwater Protector programs!
- Don’t Forget Your Local Beaches: Since the stewardship and beautification of our local community are two pillars of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s mission, we encourage you to take the same principles outlined in #2 above and apply them locally. From the shores of Lake Lanier’s Burton Mill Park to the red clay banks of the Chattahoochee at Jones Bridge Park, make a practice of bringing a trash bag with you to do a little litter picking as you enjoy the Great Outdoors.