Saturday, September 16, people from all over the globe will be hitting their local stretch of sand to clean up the beach and promote ocean health for International Coastal Cleanup day. Started by the Ocean Conservancy nearly three decades years ago, the annual event is designed to educate the public about the world's plastic problem, and inspire citizens to take action.
As the WSL works to honor our salty playground, here are three ways to help protect the oceans every day, whether you live five minutes from the beach -- or five hours.
1. Just Say No...
...to straws.Those little plastic things that make sipping sunset drinks oh-so-fun? Those migrate through streams to the great big sea, where they stay forever. Some restaurants now offer biodegradable straws made of paper (plus, they look cool, with swirly stripes), but turn down the plastic ones when they land next to your favorite fruity drink, hulking cup of boba tea, or any other beverage of choice.
2. Pick It Real Good
Trash, that is. Stephanie Gilmore used to have a superstition about picking trash up on her way out to her heats, in which leaving trash behind meant (so her belief went) that she would lose. In all likelihood, you probably won't get a demotion at work or lose a game of checkers just because you didn't care about Mother Earth. But you will, eventually, have to say goodbye to beach days. Not to mention, face the end of the world when that trash comes floating up to shore and chokes the life out of your local ecosystem.
3. Take One for the Team
Taking reusable bottles and mugs with you isn't just cheaper, but it helps reduce plastic waste worldwide. Yes, those Starbucks cups make it oh-so-easy to keep your coffee buzz going on the fly. But how much better would it feel to be highly caffeinated and saving the ocean -- at the same time? That's a coffee high worth having.