Every year on the third Saturday of September thousands of people across California unite to participate in Coastal Cleanup Day. Despite the name this annual cleanup is not restricted to the gorgeous beaches of California but extends to its creeks, rivers and lakes as well.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash are prevented from getting into our waterways in a single day. It is truly an inspiring effort. As incredible as Coastal Cleanup Day is, it's just that, A DAY.
However, what if it could be year-round?
Now we’re not saying you should put on your boots and pick up trash for 4 hours everyday (awesome as that would be) but rather make small efforts everyday to reduce trash in your day to day life.
Think of it this way. If one person picked up one pound of litter (about the weight of a can of soup) every day for a year, 365 pounds of trash (about the weight of a full grown reindeer) would not be in our waterways.
You can make a difference.
If you're wondering where to start, here are a few ways you can keep your neighborhood, park, lake, creek, Bay, and ocean cleaner:
Put your trash in a trash can. You do this at home, so do it outside. It can even earn your city some cash.
Think like a backpacker practicing Leave No Trace and "pack it in, pack it out."
See trash, pick up trash; just get a pair of gloves and a bag or bucket.
Participate in organized cleanups like the ones hosted by us.
Do a two-minute cleanup.
There is no "away" for our trash. It goes into a landfill if we collect it, or into our Bay and ocean harming wildlife along the way.
One critical example is microplastics. As plastic in storm drains, creeks, and water treatment plants accumulate, break down, and flow into the Bay, especially after a storm, it can accumulate in marine life. A recent study found that over 7 trillion pieces of plastic enter San Francisco Bay every year, many are microplasitcs. See this video for an overview of the study and the impacts of the plastics on marine life.
Join in the movement to keep our communities trash-free by picking up trash all year.