If you’ve seen any of our Coastal Cleanup Day posters around town, you may have noticed a request toward the bottom: “Reduce your use. Bring reusables. Buckets, work gloves, canteens.” Nothing makes us prouder of our volunteers than seeing you arrive to a cleanup with a bucket for trash, work gloves, and a reusable water bottle.
We’re fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where we have access to a myriad of resources and material goods in our daily lives. But with this privilege comes responsibility: just because we can use a bag once and throw it away doesn’t mean that we should. At all of our cleanups, we like to remind volunteers that our goal is to create as little waste as possible. And if you can’t bring your own reusable bucket, that’s why we’ll ask you to work in groups as you comb the beach picking up trash—sharing a trash bag with two other volunteers is an easy way to divert a lot of unnecessary plastic from heading to the landfill.
A few of our sites for Coastal Cleanup Day are already a few steps ahead of us. At Borderfield State Park, site captain Danielle Litke uses buckets, large trash cans and small trucks to haul trash across her site. At 47th Street Canyon in City Heights, co-captains John Hanley and Brent Carter use burlap and tarps to drag invasive plants and debris over to their dumpster. And volunteers in search of a zero-waste site in North County can head to Beacon’s Beach, where Bob and Jan Rogers make sure that there will be no plastic bags in site!
We’ve even got a fun way for kids to participate: the second annual Bling Your Bucket contest! In an effort to encourage our younger volunteers to join our reusables effort, we are having a contest for the most “bling-ed out” bucket. It’s easy for kids get involved—just decorate your trash bucket, bring it with you to use at Coastal Cleanup Day, and send us a photo! You can win a great prize, and we might even feature you on our Coastal Cleanup Day website for a whole year.
We hope to see you out in your community for Coastal Cleanup Day on September 15. This year, let’s breathe some new life into the first two R’s of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: bring your work gloves, bling your bucket, and join in our effort to move toward zero-waste!