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  • Alexandria Shaw

HOW CLEAN UPS CAN BRING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER

Here at Bikini Beach Clean Up, we are driven by a single goal; to do our part in making the world a better place for all living beings. We are dedicated to our efforts in protecting all life from carcinogenic plastics that consume the earth. Our clean ups bring mindfulness and planetary consciousness to our community. We strive to build productive relationships and make a positive impact with all of our pursuits. Microplastics in the trillions float through our seas - upwards of 51 trillion particles. That means that there are 500 times more itty bitty pieces of plastic swimming through our ocean than stars in the galaxy. We know the ongoing battle with plastic pollution and its detrimental effects on our environment can seem like a daunting task. It's easy to feel as if the odds are stacked against us, forming a sort of 'climate anxiety'. Sometimes it can seem like there's no point - that the world has gone awry as these tiny remnants of human consumerism [plastics] decorating our coastlines are a stark reminder. The climate crisis can cause us to question our impact, and that's okay. We're right there with you. But guess what? In 2017, nearly 800,000 volunteers collectively removed more than 20 million pieces of trash from both beaches and waterways all across the globe. That's 20 million pieces of non-recyclable waste that could have negatively impacted the sacred marine life we all strive to protect. We've outlined some more incentives to get you motivated and making a positive impact once more - for land, sea. creatures and peoples alike! COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Gather with like-minded folks and build connections across multi-cultural and multi-generational lines. Clean ups attract all sorts of people since we can all unite under one common goal - to protect and preserve our planet. HANDS-ON ACTION: For those faced with an inner turmoil of fear and overwhelm when faced with the facts of our polluted planet, sometimes the best thing you can do is get out in nature and use your hands for good. Climate anxious individuals can put their bodies to work, which allows them to get out of their head while making a positive impact on the very thing that triggers their concerns. CONSERVATION CONVERSATIONS: Generating dialogue about conservation efforts can be a little edgy for some communities, but not at clean ups! In other settings, there is often a negative response when dropping truth bombs about our planet's declining health (like the trillions of microplastics plaguing our seas) as some people do choose to live with their heads in the sand on the issue. But at clean ups, we are normalizing and encouraging these conversations; both the concerns and the solutions, and all the struggles we encounter in between. INSPIRED INTENT: When we tend to the land that nourishes us, the food just tastes better. When we care for the ocean that soothes us, the surrender is all the deeper. Gathering as a group to clean up our marine environment signals a certain camaraderie - a sense of unity and connectedness mixing in with the positive ions coming through the gentle sea breeze as the morning sun basks down. There's a sweetness in the air; the added bonus of all the hard work moving tangible tokens of trash... Inspiration: to do better, to be better. Together.

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