When we think of protecting our beaches and oceans, we tend to only think of what we can do while at the actual beach — beach cleanups, proper disposal bins, or simply taking your trash with you when leaving the beach. But did you know there are actually many things you can do right from the comfort of our home?
Here are five tips from Coastal Playground’s non-profit partners that will help you be the best steward for our playground you can be. While they’re largely specific to California, that doesn’t mean you’re not able to employ them elsewhere!
1. Reduce urban runoff pollution at home. Common sources of urban runoff pollution include over-watering of lawns/gardens and car-washing on the street or driveway. Be mindful of sprinkler placement and timers, wash the car on the lawn or at a car wash and follow the principle, “Only rain in the drain.” – Dyana Pena | Orange County Coastkeeper
2. Take it a step further and plant California Friendly (c) plants at home. These plants need less water than a traditional lawn, reduce urban runoff and can even provide habitat for native wildlife! Visit our Coastkeeper Garden to learn more. – Dyana Pena | Orange County Coastkeeper
3. Reduce usage of single-use plastics. When people do beach cleanups they see firsthand what items are going to be in the water and probably not retrieved. Cigarette butts, single use plastic bottles, straws, packages, balloons, ribbon, and single use plastic bags are a short list of the most found items at the high tide line at the beach. The Ocean continues to fill up with people’s plastic trash. It photo degrades to a micron size but it is still plastic, mistaken by marine animals as food. If we all use reusable water bottles and cloth shopping bags this will be a great first big step towards preserving the Oceans to their natural state.” – Darrel Ferguson | Surfrider Foundation (Newport Beach Chapter)
4. Shop smarter by purchasing items that have less packaging, are environmentally responsible, or can be repurposed in some way. For example, our drinking glasses were once our mayonnaise and almond butter jars. They are also great for storing nuts and foods that many people would put in plastic containers or plastic baggies. And to keep the glass jars insulated and from breaking, we cut up old wetsuit sleeves and slide them over the jars. Viola! An insulated glass jar that is the epitome of reduce, reuse, and repurpose all in one. – Patti Diaz | H20 Trash Patrol
5. Pack zero-waste lunches for your kids or yourself. There are plenty of options on the market for reusable lunch containers. And please refuse all juice boxes/packets, even if they are organic. If you insist on juice for you or your kids, buy in larger juice containers and pour it into a small reusable bottle for portability. Not only is it cheaper, it’s better for you and the environment. The plastic straw wrappers that come with juice boxes are so flimsy and can easily take flight when ripped off. We find so many of them callously lounging on the beaches and in the waterways. Not to mention the various containers that makes up the juice boxes themselves. Most are not even recyclable. – Patti Diaz | H20 Trash Patrol
There you have it — five awesome tips from the experts themselves. Listen, we understand that doing all of these might not always be feasible. But if you simply adopt one of these simple tips from our 50/50® Partners every month, before you know it, you will be a lean, mean, ocean-protecting machine.
To learn more about Andrew Sneddon and Coastal Playground’s keys to a better society, check out “Collective Collaboration.” If you have any questions, concerns, or simply want more tips, email Andrew directly at Andrew@coastalplayground.com.