On October 4th I took part in a beach cleanup on Folley Beach with my sorority Sigma Kappa. We decided to do extra philanthropy work and clean up parts of Folley beach and also use it as a way to get closer with our sisters. It was a super cool experience but also made me kind of sad how neglected our local beaches are. It was clear that they are not cleaned and taken care of as often as they should be. When we went I saw all kinds of litter, masks, plastic and glass bottles, paper plates, bottle caps, and all other sorts of miscellaneous plastic items. I also noticed that on the actual beach there were not as many trash cans as I had anticipated or am used to seeing. (growing up on the jersey shore had made me accustomed to seeing that) Although Folley beach is beautiful and was more maintenance than some other beaches I have come across it still shocked me that so many people thought little about just holding onto their trash or just holding out for a trashcan.
(From Sigma Kappa CofC Instagram)
I grew up on the Jersey shore and like its stereotype, many places on the shoreline are trashed. They can be gross, crowded, and full of litter. But they still are managed by some people and I feel like they need to be more proactive the way they are down south. from what I have seen, people down here care more about what the beaches look like and the experience you have when you are at the beaches as well as the amount of litter you see(although there are fewer wastebaskets and other places for recycling) Down here the beaches, though some still have plastic scattered around them, are far less trashed than the ones further north. It makes me think why this is? Is it the fast pace culture of being near large cities? Is it the fact “beach life” isn’t as prevalent as it is down here? What it is for sure I cannot say. However, I would like to see a better system both up north and down south with ways to deal with people’s trash on our beaches.
Hopefully one day we are able to keep our beaches and our oceans clean! I know from this whole experience it really made me think about how each and every little piece of plastic can affect the environment but especially clog up our beaches. Overall it’s clear that we need a new system to help out environment keep clean and stop people from littering and frankly destroying our beautiful beaches. I hope to continue to do beach clean-ups and get more people to participate in them as well. Until next time I will continue to be proactive and pick up trash when I see it and attempt to keep beaches and everywhere in our community clean one piece at a time. It all starts with you and me!