With the busy season of weddings (and golf for Matt) upon us, we’ve been trying to make it to the lake at least once a week to squeeze as much fun out of summer as we can.
This Sunday, the water was calm as Matt, and I set up our chairs in the sand. The tide was high, and I went for a quick walk along the shore before settling in to read.
And sadly, in what has become a too common occurrence, I found myself stepping on trash as well as sand on my walk.
It covered the sand with colorful pieces of tiny plastic-like confetti.
A beautiful day at the lake, and all I could focus on was trash left behind and forgotten.
-A bullet from a Nerf gun
-A plastic bottle cap
-A broken beach toy
-Pieces of plastic broken down into rice-size pieces
-The drawstrings from a pair of swim trunks
Garbage long forgotten by their original owners left to resurface on the sandy shores of the lake.
10,00 tons of plastic end up in the Great Lakes every year
Life has a way of keeping you busy. It’s easy to push progress to ‘another day’ and ignore pollution until you’re walking on a beach of trash.
I hope my story inspired you to be mindful of our planet. Here are some ways you can take action today…
Consume Less and Ethically
Avoid plastic whenever you can, especially single-use plastic. It can seem like everything is made of plastic, and overwhelming to think of a world without it at first but start small.
Bring your own reusable cups to Starbucks, don’t forget to bring your reusable bags to the market, opt for filtered water instead of bottled, and swap out your Ziplock bags for reusable Zip Tops. These small changes will add up.
Take Care of Your Waste, Properly
A lot of the trash that ends up in local lakes was washed away in storm drains. When your trash ends up in the proper bins, it will help make sure your trash doesn’t find its way to the lakes.
Pick Up The Trash
Every time we go to the lake, we bring a reusable trash clean-up kit. We’ll walk the beach and fill up a bag. When we get home, we throw out the trash. It takes about 10 minutes to fill a bag, and it’s worth it to leave the lake more beautiful than we’ve left it.
Educate Yourself & Get Involved
Do your research. Educate yourself and take action. You can organize a beach cleanup yourself, or you can join an existing beach cleanup. Get involved and vote for legislation that protects the waterways near you.
You can donate your money to nonprofits that help clean up waterways. You can have a local impact by donating to GreatLakes.org or you can have a more global impact by donating to The Ocean Cleanup here.