Beach cleanup daily — without leaving your home

Map showing CA waterway cleanup locationsEach third Saturday in September in California, the California Coastal Cleanup Day gathers thousands of people to help clean tons of trash from our beaches and waterways. The 2017 event occurred on September 16th.

If you missed September 16th, and can’t wait until next year, you can start today in without leaving your own property.

Photo of FUF Volunteers landscaping a sidewalk garden
FUF volunteers landscaping a sidewalk garden

This spring, the SF Friends of Urban Forests (FUF) helped us plant sidewalk gardens in front of our house. FUF is great: They expedite processing permits through the City, scan the sidewalks for underground pipes, etc., then gather a bunch of volunteers to help with a morning of landscaping around the neighborhood (several neighbors of our had gardens installed on the same day as us). The cost to the property owner is minimal.

“What does  this have to do with beach cleanup?” I hear you asking. Well, with the watering of the baby plants, I have noticed the amount of trash that collects in our gardens (used to just blow down the street). I’ve started to go out each evening when I get home from work and pick the trash I see in our gardens. Below are some photos of the trash collected over two weeks.  I counted the cigarette butts, and came up with 39—that’s about 2.5 per day.

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So, again, what does this have to do with beach clean-up. Well, I’m betting you can guess where all this trash would end up.

  • Some of it swept up by our weekly street sweepers (my neighborhood in SF has weekly street-sweeping).
  • Some of it swept up by other neighbors…and
  • some of it finding is way into the storm drains and eventually into the Bay.

So, I enjoy visiting my garden every day when I come home, and collecting a bit of trash, knowing that this trash won’t make it to the Bay.

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