Living on Long Island, New York, we are lucky to be surrounded by beaches. Unfortunately, not everyone shares in the appreciation of nature, and people thoughtlessly litter, leaving our beaches full of trash. The trash pollutes the environment and poses a lot of threats to wildlife. So our group has chosen the campaign to explore our community by starting our own project: cleaning-up the local beach. C.A.R.E. is a group I started on Facebook. The acronym stands for Community for Animal Respect and Education, and it provides opportunities for people to learn about the challenges animals face in today's world, and inspires people to get involved to help them.
As homeschoolers, we say the world is our classroom. Sadly, many of our "classrooms" are not cared for. Our group meets at our local beach for environmental science classes, hiking, birding, picnics, swimming, and other fun activities. We always find so much trash on the beach and I want to organize something that will help clean it up. A major concern I have is all the plastic that is left behind or washes up from other places. I've done a lot of research on this that I’ve shared on my Facebook page, C.A.R.E., Community for Animal Respect and Education. Things like balloons and plastic straws are very lethal to sea life and humans. From choking hazards to plastics leaching chemicals into our water. People need to be more responsible. If we receive a grant, we will utilize it to purchase materials for the clean-up including biodegradable protective gloves, recyclable garbage bags, rakes, and special boxes for sharp objects (only an adult will be allowed to pick up hazardous materials and safely dispose of) and other clean-up materials. There are a few hundred followers in my C.A.R.E. group through social media, but we have several hundred active families in our homeschool group. By cleaning up the beach a bunch of times, we’ll be able to get many people involved. When other beach goers see us doing the clean-ups, hopefully that will encourage them to also help keep our beaches clean.
During each beach clean-up, we will record the type (for example plastic, glass, metal, etc.) and amount of trash. Our group will be split up into smaller groups and each group will have certain areas of the beach to clean-up. Some people will help with trash collection and one from each group will record the information. There will be at least one adult to guide and help each team. Every few weeks, we will return to the beaches and repeat the same process of recording the litter and cleaning it up. Hopefully, we will see a reduction in litter by using our data.