11 • 11 • 2020

Celebrating Small Acts for Clean Shores with Love Beauty and Planet

By rcushing

Last year in honor of World Oceans Day, Love Beauty and Planet and the Surfrider Foundation engaged communities around the country in a series of “Small Acts of Love” for our ocean. Together, we hosted 27 beach cleanups that engaged over 1,500 volunteers to remove 3.5 tons of trash and plastic from U.S. coastlines. This year, as gathering restrictions posed challenges to hosting large public cleanups, we revisited those goals with a new challenge to our networks: throughout the month of October, we asked you to hold your own cleanups and report your findings as we set out to protect and restore shorelines throughout the country— from beaches to riverbeds, lakeshores and creeks— because all waterways ultimately lead to the ocean.

This year's Small Acts for Clean Shores challenge was centered around the same goals for igniting activism and volunteerism in communities throughout the country, with the added goal of making opportunities to participate even more inclusive to everyone, regardless of their proximity to the ocean. With your help throughout October alone, at least 1,280 volunteers collected over 10,718 pounds of trash and plastic from our beaches and waterways, cleaning about 239 miles of coastline and inland waterways.

Beach and waterway cleanups are one small way we can all get involved in being part of the solution to plastic pollution and other types of litter, for our communities and the natural environment. Through beach cleanups, important data revealing the most prevalent types of waste on our beaches can help identify sources of pollution, whether washed ashore from other locations, littered onsite, or swept downstream through inland waterways and storm drains.

Did you know: Throughout its life cycle, plastic is destructive to the natural environment and its inhabitants. An estimated 11 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the ocean each year, swept downstream from inland waterways and storm drains, as well as directly from beaches and coastal communities. Once in the marine environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments and is often mistaken for food by wildlife, threatening marine ecosystems and even entering the human food chain.

Collecting and reporting litter in and around waterways, even far from the coast, can help prevent pollution in your immediate environment and downstream, and the data you collect can help Surfrider advocate for policies and legislation to help address pollution throughout the watershed, the impacts of which BIPOC often bear disproportionately.

Whether at the beach or upstream, you can help stem the tide of plastic flowing into our ocean— and if you missed out on participating in October, the good news is that you can hold your own cleanup and report your findings to our database any time of the year. Check out our Beach Cleanup Activist Guide to learn more.

Year round, Love Beauty and Planet is committed to leading by example by making sustainably-minded choices for their products, for their customers, and for the planet. A core pillar of the brand is built around encouraging their community to make small differences for the planet every day through their beauty and cleansing rituals and engaging in what they call Small Acts of Love for the planet. Read Love Beauty and Planet's recently released Impact Report here, and learn about The Love Beauty and Planet Project, a new grants program for innovators in the environmental sphere, here.

Special thanks to each individual who participated in Small Acts for Clean Shores by holding their own cleanup throughout the month of October, and to our partners at Love Beauty and Planet for their ongoing support of our mission!