Island nations have many opportunities to take action and look after our shoreline and help to protect our beaches from trash and waste accumulation. Yes, one can join a major beach clean-up. And this sort of activity is great. But this is action after the fact, after the accumulation of trash on the beach and other shorelines. But we can also be pro-active when we arrive at the beach to enjoy a day in the sun.
The sooner one adopts these behavioral patterns, the easier it will be to really enjoy your leisure time at the beach. And to be able to encourage others who have not considered these actions. Stay focused and think “clean waters, clean beaches means a better fun day at the beach”. In this article, we will discuss a few tips to make your beach trip eco-friendly so keep reading:
What do you need for a beach picnic? Plates and cups and cutlery, right. But not the plastic kind that you throw away after one use. Chose reusable and non- breakable plates and containers. Cloth napkins, stainless steel or bamboo straws. All reusable, all washable in a dish washer. And a great way to minimize the waste deposited at the beach in trash bins or across the sandy beaches themselves. Plastics especially things like drinking straws and food wraps can have dire impact on the marine ecosystem if carelessly tossed on the shoreline.
Don’t throw your food scraps and leftovers up in the air or out to sea. These can be harmful to marine life as often the waste is not a natural food source such as potato chips. Wrap them up and take them home to dispose of properly. Think of the beach as another front lawn or garden area as you have at home.
Yes, others before you may have dropped the odd waste object such as a soda or water bottle. Instead of complaining, just bend down and pick it up. You know what to do with it. This brings up the idea of perhaps having a pair of rubber gloves for clean-up, perhaps even a small shovel or an extendable picker-upper. And place these collectables in your compostable plastic trash bag ready for taking home at the end of your fun day.
Talking of trash bags, plan and be prepared. Be sure to have one bag for recyclables and another separate bag for the trash. No one wants to have to handle trash twice, not deal with sorting it on returning back home after a fun day at the beach.
Often when we spend a day of leisure at the beach, we transport our plastic buckets and plastic beach toys as well as the children enjoy the beach just as mush as swimming in the ocean waves. So we need to be sure we collect all the children’s toys and plastic inflatables. Or today’s toys could all become more beach trash.
And if it is a birthday party celebration, no balloons. Lost balloons eventually deflate into a lose scraggle mass of rubber that is very harmful to both birdlife and marine life. There is a catching slogan, “Balloons blow, don’t let them go.” Better yet, select an alternative, be creative. Perhaps use environmentally friendly bubble solutions.
We go to beaches on hot, sunny days. That means we need to drink water so as to not get dehydrated. Instead of purchasing packs of one-use water bottles, prepare at home and fill up the refillable water bottles. This will really cut down on potential trash. That brings up the great attitude of “carry out what you carry in” or in this case, onto the beach. Leave only your footprints in the sand.
Do our house pets, especially dogs, go to the beach with us? Check the rules and regulations as to who is allowed on the beach. And as with exercising your house pets in community parks and green areas, same as at the beach, clean up after them. You know the routine. This is very important for health issues and water quality. And keep the pets away from entering into algal blooms. Those areas that look green and slimy.
Perhaps the beach is ideal for shoreline fishing. That is great. But again, be careful with the fish hooks and fishing lines. Both the lines and the hooks could be lethal for birdlife and marine species if left as trash on the shoreline. Again, be sure to collect all your belongings and take them away with you at the end of the day. Even smash the sand castles or water diversion channels one might make in the course of the fun day.
Follow these sustainable beach practices and leave nature as natural as possible after your fun day at the beach.