I read a post by a WordPresser who goes by the title inoniamartin in which she spoke of a young man named Ryan who had decided to take it upon himself to clean up an area of beach. She went on to say how inspired she and her two children were by his actions that they went out and cleaned up a park they frequent. She sent out an invitation to followers to do the same, then make a blog post about it.
This is something I do already, since I like my beach enough to pick up the refuse left by people who don’t like my beach enough to keep it clean, I asked my wife/photographer to come along and take a few shots of me doing what I do.
Some of what I often find left on the beach is bio-degradable, like pieces of pineapple, coconut shells which vendors sell with a straw to drink the juice, which they call “pipa.” These sorts of items are a part of the eco-system here, and I usually leave them since animals eat them, or live in them, or hide in them.
Then, there’s the stuff the sign was for…the things people leave on the beach that will be there forever. And, much of it can be dangerous to people who like to walk on the beach barefoot…people like me. I picked up several pieces of broken glass from beer bottles, something that can send the unsuspecting beachcomber to the hospital, or the nearest beach club for a little first aid. And then, there’s the junk that is just annoying.
Yes, Coke is the real thing, so I’ve heard…but not part of the ideal beach experience.
In the bag…along with a plastic container, empty of cans and left floating on the tide. Some of the beach vendors have garbage bags attached to the sides of their carts, but there’s still plenty of garbage to keep someone like me busy…busy enough to fill one bag with garbage, and then another.
The results of an hour or two of cleaning my small corner of a Costa Rican beach…
A clean beach the next morning, for me…for my wife…for my neighbors…for the tourists here for only a few days…and for you, Ryan. It may be a beach you will never visit, and I may never visit the beach you cleaned up, but we did something good for the world, and all the people and animals that share it with us. There are some sea turtles here called Leatherbacks, which are an endangered species that only come ashore and lay their eggs here on this beach. I’m sure they would appreciate people like you if they spoke anything but turtle. Good luck in your effort to keep your beach clean, I’ll continue to do what I can to do the same.