View single post by TravelLover
 Posted: Mon May 23rd, 2016 02:34 am
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TravelLover

 

Joined: Fri Oct 24th, 2014
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Mana: 
Biscuit wrote: Littering isn't a simple matter and therefore doesn't have a simplistic solution. Everyone loves a clean beach but to get there we're actually talking about changing a cultural norm. Think back to what a huge effort it took to end habitual littering on US roadways. And how long did it take? 10-15 years! Changing a cultural norm first requires taking ownership of the problem. What that means is I don't quit picking up trash once I think I've done my fair share. I don't help clean a beach a few times and then get discouraged because change hasn't come about yet. Instead, I commit to cleaning more than my fair share for many years to come.

It's much easier to influence others to take their trash with them when they leave if they see a relatively clean beach a lot of the time, and if trash cans are available on the way out from beaches. Then someone has to empty those cans before wind and wildlife spread the trash around again.

Thinking back to the late 70s and early 80s, there were always trash cans at Lalo and Frenchies, where campers and divers used them religiously. But people aren't always to blame for trash - Algodonas, in those pre-development days, was usually almost spotless but that was mainly because the wind carried trash up the dunes and across the road to lodge amongst plants there. At Sanctuario, most debris came in on the tide - fishing nets and chunks of styrofoam, and sometimes plastic rings from soda or beer 6-pack cans as well as empty 2-liter plastic jugs used as floats.

Efforts to bring about cultural change also rely on involving others; in this case, touristas from outside the area. For starters, a friendly ad in UA, PCC, and ASU newspapers enlisting the assistance of students planning to spend holiday weekends and spring break in SC. While on the face of it the ad asks for help keeping their beaches clean ('their' personalizes the message) it serves to remind them not to leave trash behind. This tactic has been successful in Florida where beaches are the primary destination during spring break.

Finally, the next generations must participate on some level for the change to have a chance to become permanent, to be the new norm. Maybe something like a cleanup event where kids who participate can trade a filled grocery store-sized bag for an inexpensive stuffed toy?

I don't think punishment such as being fined will help at first. People will see trash everywhere and that not everybody is fined. I think they'll just get sneakier. To own the problem and take pride in clean beaches, it would be better to get their attention and give them a trash bag and a friendly smile. There will be a time for fines once trash is no longer normal.

I was born in '79 in the US, so a clean environment is all I know. If I saw a few pieces of litter here and there, I picked it up and disposed of it. I remember watching the "give a hoot, don't pollute" type of commercials.  More importantly, I always had encouragement from family not to throw trash around.


I will never stop picking up trash here.  I like to enjoy nature without worrying that my children will step on some broken glass, or other sharp object that has no business being on the beach.


My 9 year old son told me he actually saw people purposely breaking glass at the beaches! We were at Playa San Francisco today, and I picked up so many glass bottles and broken pieces of glass as I didn't want some jacka$$ deciding that breaking glass on beaches is entertaining!


The last time we were in Tucson, I bought extra trash compactor bags from Costco so I had a steady supply of sturdy trash bags for beach cleanups.  Too bad I haven't found strong bags like those in this area ...


My son is 9, and my daughter is almost 5.  Naturally they are going to be frustrated that they are making a strong effort to clean up the beaches, only to return to them covered in garbage.  I make sure they stick to non sharp objects, while I pick up the sharp ones.


My friend living in Ecuador with her family started a "Go Fund Me" account to get donations for litter clean up supplies. Naturally I donated. Too bad she doesn't have a Costco nearby where she can buy some "Kirkland Signature Trash Compactor Bags."


They are quite useful.