I don’t think I understood the enormous consequences of plastics to our oceans until I lived it.
This is our third year in the San Francisco Bay area. And those three years have been enough to be shocked. Shocked by the piles of plastics we find at the Californian coasts. Off course I did read about the plastic pollution in the ocean while living in Europe, but only by walking on the Californian beaches I realised that something is wrong. Really wrong.
The family beach clean-up
After we visited a marin mammal hospital, where the girls learned about how plastics are killing the sea mammals we meet daily, they started spontaneously to take action. An action that all of us can easily copy – whenever we are on a beach vacation.
When the girls hit the beach, they now always start with a 3-minute beach clean-up. We call it the family beach clean-up, because all of us need to help. We gather all plastics or other trash that might harm any sea creatures – and yes, we are aware of the sharp and dangerous goods, so we stay close – and bring it to the bin.
The amazing thing is they’re not just helping with the clean-up, they also learn so much in 3 minutes. They learn that tooth brushes are plastics. And that fishing nets can kill. They learn that plastic bags in water look like jellyfish, and get eaten.
I am aware it’s a small gesture. A small beginning. But if we can all agree to start doing our 3 minutes, every day we hit the beach on our summer vacation or weekend-away – it can become a great gesture.