Fluidity & Sustainability
Over the past month or so, I started organizing and preparing for a beach cleanup. Organizing a beach cleanup requires more steps and coordination than one may expect at first glance. Narrowing down to a shortlist of local beaches to clean was my first step. Thereafter, acquiring permission from the property owners and selecting a date was essential. After solidifying the location, date, and supplies, I created an event flyer to share with the community. During the process of sharing, I learned about a larger event called Ocean’s Day, occurring on the same day as my event. The best decision was to collaborate with the local organizations to join forces and host the cleanup together.
Hosting a beach cleanup taught me about the importance of fluidity within plans. Throughout the process of organizing this beach cleanup, there were constant changes. I learned to embrace the changes if they were necessary for the event. Changes are inevitable when planning an event that requires the collaboration of many entities. Although changes are often unexpected, they are not inherently a burden. Deciding to collaborate with local organizes allowed me to meet other groups of people trying to do something positive for our environment. After the clean, there was a bird walk lead by a Monterey Audubon Society Member, Amanda Preece.
Monterey, California is a city with many active and environmentally inclined residents, so the beaches appear to be cleaner than many. In spite of the constant effort to clean shorelines, a group of over forty volunteers collected about eight bags of trash. Most of the large items were glass and plastic bottles. The smaller trash was composed of food wrappers, cigarette butts, and microplastics. There were also tent pieces and an appliance found on the beach. Hosting this cleanup was an awakening experience in regards to the large amount of trash in our natural environments. It highlighted the importance of shifting to increasingly sustainable practices as a means of addressing trash pollution.