There’s nothing like a day at the beach – unless the beach is covered in trash. You can’t quite relax soaking up rays when you’re looking at garbage and wondering what else your body is soaking up. Clean your beach the right way following these tips from Green Hands USA.
Don’t take dirty beaches lying down. You can help clean up beaches and help give your body needed exercise. You can also help prevent dirty beaches by cleaning up after yourself whenever you visit. Doing so will help not only make the world a cleaner place, but will also give you a priceless feeling of accomplishment.
You can clean a beach by yourself or help get volunteers to help you. You can ask for volunteers on volunteer websites (like Green Hands USA) or through press releases and fliers. Cleaning a beach can also be a great way for an organization or school to give back to the community.
Finding Volunteer Organizations
It’s safest for you to join an already established volunteer organization for your local beach. This way you can learn about what trash you can safely clean up and what needs to be reported to the police. For example, you should not touch medical waste like dirty needles or used bandages. Call the police or other local authorities instead.
There are many places where you can look for beach cleaning volunteer organizations. Some are organized on the state level, such as Texas’ Adopt a Beach program. Some coastal cities like San Diego hold monthly volunteer beach cleanings. If you cannot find such an organization for your local beach, contact the political representative for the district where the beach is located.
Be Sure to Get Permission
The best time to do a beach clean-up is on the off-season. Early spring and autumn are excellent times. You also want to work when the tide is out, so crack open those almanacs to check on these times. You can also check on the NOAA website for tides and times.
You then want to contact the local government of the beach. If you aren’t sure who to contact, try the police department of the area. You and your group need permission to be on the beach off-season so you can avoid possible fines.
You and your group need supplies grouped into two categories: cleaning supplies and supplies for your comfort and safety. Decide in advance if one person will bring supplies or if you can get everyone involved to bring supplies. Comfort supplies include:
- · Sunscreen or wide-brimmed hats
- · Bottles of water
- · Snacks, especially fruit to help re-hydrate volunteers
- · Band-aids
- · First-aid kit
Basic beach cleaning supplies include:
- · Work gloves
- · Biodegradable trash bags
- · Trash sticks (sticks with pointed ends)
- · Rakes to help separate trash from sand
- · Sieves like kitty litter scoops to help separate small trash items like cigarette butts from sand
Good luck and thank you!