By far the best part of having our little zero waste shop is meeting people who are as excited and passionate about saving the planet as we are. We met Joe Labriola in early 2020 and began collaborating immediately on ways we could work together to bring awareness to ocean plastics that wash up on our beautiful beaches and harm ocean wildlife.
Cleaning up your local beach is something you can do by yourself, or in a small group. Whether you want to keep it simple or go all out, we put together some great tips to help you make the most of your cleanup:
- Bring a bag to collect the trash.
- To protect your hands, wear thick, reusable / washable gloves. Avoid latex gloves so you aren't adding more plastic to the waste stream.
- Safety first! Be careful if you find fishing line as there may a sharp hook attached.
- Stay away from tall grasses / brush / dunes since these areas are prone to ticks and some extra funky stuff.
If you want to organize a beach cleanup with a group, here are some useful tips:
- Understand how many people are really effective for the space you're cleaning. A group of 10 to clean up a Harbor is more than enough, while shore beaches can justify a larger crowd.
- Check tide times! High tide can prevent you from having enough beach to clean.
- You can get really fancy and have your group collect data through various apps on your smartphone. We love My Coast and Cleanswell. These apps allow you to simply tap on the type of waste you're collecting and the app will record it for you. You can sync up with a group so you can retrieve data on things like the most common forms of trash.
Joe Labriola is an environmentalist and professor at Stony Brook University. Follow him on Insta @profbeachclean and check out his You Tube channel to watch all his beach cleanup adventures. Want to take part in the fun? Follow us @shopsimplegood on Instagram to find out when our next organized beach event is!