Communities are important. They’re where we make friends, raise families, enjoy free time, gain education, and earn a living. Our communities give us a lot, but all too often we don’t take time to give back. Don’t get me wrong, between all the stress and obligations we have day to day it’s tough to find time for anything extra. Giving back takes making a commitment, and that’s what we’re trying to do here at ecoSolargy as a part of our growing CSR program. One Saturday morning each month, we’re going to find one worthy cause to donate our time and talents to.
In August, we went to work for the Surfrider Foundation’s Newport Beach Chapter on their monthly beach cleanup. The Surfrider Foundation’s mission is to protect and enjoy “our world’s oceans, waves, and beaches” and since 1984 they’ve been hard at work doing just that. We’re known for our awesome beaches in SoCal and this brings millions from around the globe to enjoy them. But flocks of people unfortunately bring with them flocks of trash. Most of it makes it to the proper place. The rest, well, that’s where we come in.
We arrived at the beach at 9am and were given a briefing from Darrel about the problems our oceans are facing. Have you heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch aka the Pacific Trash Vortex? Because of the way currents flow, trash (mostly plastic) is trapped in areas of the ocean. The pictures are really stunning, in a terribly gross kinda way. In addition to what people leave behind after their day at the beach, trash that has ended up in the ocean or rivers also washes up on the shore.
After the briefing, we donned gloves, received cloth Surfrider bags, and were set loose to comb the beach for trash. Lucky for us, the beach (which had just hosted the US Open of Surfing) was relatively clean but there was still plenty of work to be done. We got to it, sifting through sand to get small bits of styrofoam and digging through the rocks to grab hard-to-reach debris. It’s amazing the random things you can find! I found a road reflector, a couple shoelaces, lots of bottle caps, and a ummm…errr…contraceptive product. All in all, our group was able to pull pounds of trash off of the beach making it just a little bit better. And that made this Solar Manatee feel all warm and fuzzy. Can’t wait until next month’s project…