We all love spending at least one weekend at the beach every summer. But thousands upon thousands of people going to one place during a small time frame usually means a huge pile of garbage, most of it plastics. Beach clean-ups are a good thing, but let’s be honest, the fact that we need to organise them is actually a big sign that there is something seriously wrong with our holiday habits.
We all know the struggle: we buy something packaged in plastic, we consume it and afterwards throw its packaging in the bin as good citizens. Unfortunately, we are not the only ones with that brilliant idea: all the other people on the beach have been doing the same thing since early morning and around lunch time the few available bins are overflowing. But behold: some people have started a mound of garbage right next to the bin so that we can add our small addition to the big existing pile, problem solved in the best way possible! Of course, that is far from a sustainable solution and before you know it, the beach looks like a landfill.
We have to start realizing that we’re out of easy solutions like putting more bins or emptying them more frequently. If we want to reverse the beach pollution we need to tackle the source directly: us, the beach visitors. If we start bringing less waste on our holidays, there will be no need for more bins and other short-term solutions.
Therefore, let’s go over some small practical changes we can implement to make an impact.
The biggest polluter is the packaging of the products we consume while at the beach. Candy wrappers, plastic bottles, plastic bags and the like are found everywhere. So what do you say we prepare our food at home and bring it over in a reusable container, together with reusable cutlery? Plastic cutlery is so inconvenient, it often breaks even before it’s been used : D
If you don’t have enough time to cook, just bring a reusable container and ask the local bar/restaurant to serve your food in your own container rather than on a plastic plate.
What do you say we bring our beverages in reusable thermos bottles, with the added advantage that they will keep cool for longer? How about bringing our stuff in reusable cotton bags and backpacks instead of the disposable plastic bags which might fly away any minute?
When it comes to cosmetics, we can look for a sunscreen in a glass jar like THIS ONEor a deodorant in glass packagingrather than plastic? And if we feel like getting an ice cream, let’s opt for the option of having it in a waffle cone rather in a plastic container with a plastic spoon. Even if we don’t feel like eating the waffle cone, we can always give it to a friend : )
And in the season of iced coffee and cocktails we pledge to you to order your drinks with the words “No Straw, Please” . If you miss sipping with a straw, get your own reusable stainless steel/bamboo one and if the bar serves drinks in plastic cups, get your own reusable cup and take it to the beach ; )
We can all do more to fight beach pollution and help to preserve the environment. Apart from the above mentioned steps, you can also take part in beach clean-ups or even organise some!
Every step in the right direction helps : )
How do you reduce your trash when you’re at the beach? Let us know with a comment below.
Vera and The Team of Revolucia
P.S. The last beautiful picture was taken by the talented Rada Boneva, check out her blog Thrift Sheep for an extra dose of zerowaste inspiration