By Eric Khodorenko
Every year since 1985 on the third Saturday of September, California beach clean up day has been held across the state. Californians are encouraged to volunteer and pick up trash at dozens of beaches, lakes, and bays. According to the National Park Service, since 1985, “one million Californians have removed over 20 million pounds of debris” from California’s shoreline and beaches. While the root of the problem is, without a doubt, skyrocketing plastic manufacturing numbers; if we can take the initiative to clean our beaches to help reduce the amount of plastic that enters our oceans can improve our odds of preserving critically important ecosystems. Some Las Lomas students will be meeting in Benicia to participate in California Beach Cleanup Day tomorrow morning on September 17, 2022.
I was inspired to try to organize a clean up as I began to notice the state of pollution. Almost every month, there is new, disappointing news that continues to shed light on how humans are deeply hurting the environment through a variety of different ways. Ranging from our overly deepened dependence on fossil fuels to the extremities of fast fashion and the excessive consumption of goods. While many of the environmental issues that weigh on the world are simply impossible to combat by the average American, we, as a community and society, can still help in several ways to genuinely improve the environment. By being mindful of personal plastic pollution, its impacts on marine life and your health, and accordingly limiting our usage as much as possible is absolutely key to progress in protecting our oceans and ourselves. Microplastics– plastic that is less than 5mm long, can now be found in almost every single body of water. Although the WHO (Worldwide Health Organization) has claimed that– with the currently available scientific research, microplastics are not harmful to human health. This is still potentially dangerous as the negative effects of plastic in our drinking water have not been thoroughly investigated and researched. One of the ways we can all try to reduce the number of microplastics that we emit into the ocean is to reduce our consumption of plastic water bottles, straws, and caps. It may be cliche, but we must also make sure to recycle and dispose of our garbage. A great way to limit the amount of trash that gets into the ocean is participating in a beach clean up.
If you are interested in coming to help out. Fill out this google form! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScwYF5abAsRsaMCMOjqpbtIevglIdp8ceHkLdxzhNjlqlW8eQ/viewform?usp=sf_link
We hope to see you there!