It’s not often I get on a bandwagon. Normally I’d run the other way when I see a bandwagon coming along but this one has got me right on board.
Now that we live by the sea and Douggie the doggie and I take our daily constitutional on some beach or other, we notice things.
We noticed, for instance, when a dead dolphin was washed up on the beach. We noticed stupid people coming to take selfies with it to post on Facebook. We noticed them prodding it with their feet and laughing.
No one noticed me, crying quietly at the indignity of this wonderful creature rolling around on the water’s edge and being laughed at as a spectacle, a tourist attraction.
Even I was amazed at how profoundly it affected me.
With the benefit of hindsight, and much mulling over, I realised it was a reaction to the death of my brother, the realisation that death can come swiftly and unexpectedly, robbing you and those you leave behind of any dignity in your passing.
Anyway…*shakes to remove maudlin feelings creeping in* that’s not what this post is about.
This post is about the things we notice on the beach. The plastic, the litter, the cigarette ends, the dog poo, the coffee cups.
Recently, I have taken to picking up a dog poo bag’s worth of rubbish every day. Some days two. Some days I could use a giant sack. One day last week, I happened to be on the beach as the tide was coming in. The amount of litter left behind by people was appalling. I looked at it, scowled and walked on. “I’m not picking it up, why should I pick it up? It’s not my litter. The council should do it. People should take their litter home. IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM!”
The tide came in a bit more.
I continued to walk up and down the rapidly disappearing beach scowling at all the rubbish and thinking that it should be tourists banned from the beach in summer, not dogs.
Eventually, I gave in. DAMMIT!! I couldn’t leave all the rubbish there knowing that within half an hour it would be floating around in the sea for some poor dolphin, porpoise or any other marine animal to ingest and be killed by ( I’m focusing on that today, not the pollution, I’ll save that for another rant).
I began to pick up armsful of rubbish. After several trips up the overflowing rubbish bin ( take note council, you are part of the issue), I noticed some other locals had joined in with the clean up. It restored my faith in people, just a little bit.
Some time ago I picked up some postcards from a display on the beach. It was the Marine Conservation Society. It was about flushing wet wipes down the loo and where they end up. I took a stack of these postcards and put one into every guest room. I’m not sure if it made any difference but if it helps to raise awareness it’s got to be worth a go.
Here’s the link to their website. Take a look, it’s interesting and a bit terrifying.
Now it seems to be becoming a little bit fashionable to avoid using plastics. Pubs are switching from plastic straws. Bottled water in plastic bottles is becoming a no no. I like this. Genuine efforts are being made to reduce the amount of rubbish going into our seas and ending up on our beaches. This makes me happy.
So. For the sake of our marine life and our planet, please, jump onto this bandwagon and jump onto it right now. If we all just did a little bit, what a difference it would make.