Monday, May 10, 2010

A Beach PSA - Keeping it Clean

Whilst strolling the beach this weekend, leisurely, I found myself somewhat amazed that it wasn't even full blown tourist season yet, but the beach was still... dirty.

Okay, before I continue on with my rant, I'll have you know the city did a complete beach restoration two months ago. On the whooole thing. It was nourished and cleaned and there were cranes and large official-looking pipes and it was a metric butt-ton of work, I'm sure.

Now here I am, wrinkling my nose at things in the sand that sooo should not be there.

You may or may not (likely not) remember my beach PSA from last year about keeping your bathing attire classy at the beach (go read it, it has pictures!), so to follow suit, I give you my newest beach public service announcement...

(otherwise known as, 'Clean Up After Your Damn Selves'!!)

We'll start with the big baddie, the grand poo-ba, the worst of the worst to nearly smush your bare foot upon as you're walking...


UGH. Seriously. UGH. To me there is absolutely nothing that squicks me out more than seeing a tired old Band-Aid, all crumpled over and stuck to itself in the sand. ARGH. Even thinking about it gives me the willies. (Aren't you glad I'm not using photos for this post??) Luckily I haven't seen this very often. However, this is a disgusting, vile breach of not only littering but personal hygiene that should never ever be broken.

It's okay to have a boo-boo on vacay. But please, keep an eye on it. If your Band-Aid falls off? Pick it up! If you want to change your Band-Aid? PLEASE bring your old, nasty crusty one to the trash can; there are receptacles on the beach for this very reason! Sure, it may have been covering something simple like a shaving nick on someone's leg, but all I can visualize is it being stuck over Little Billy's pus-oozing spider bite. BLARGH.

(I have the willies again!)


I love stepping on an old bottle cap when it's upturned and all the little prongs are facing upwards. No, really! It keeps me alert.


I'm okay if the college kids want to drink on the beach. (I'm not a huge proponent of beach boozers though, as extreme heat + beer or liquor generally = worst hangover EVER) However, trash cans. There must be room in your coolers or whatever for the tiny little caps and tabs that are there to open your delicious libation. The bottles and cans clearly make it to the trash or recycling somehow, because the beach never resembles a cooler full of (empty) Michelob bottles. What about the rest?

Think of Little Billy, romping joyously in the surf as he stumbles and falls and thumps his head upon the sand whereupon YOUR misplaced bottle cap, prongs up, digs into his soft and sensitive cheek. Great, now he's bleeding and hollering and needs a Band-Aid. And we all know where THOSE end up, right? (See above.)


I am so, so happy that the city is having meetings regarding prohibiting smoking on the beach. These almost give me the willies as much as Band-Aids, because you KNOW that the gnarly filter stubbed out into the sand has had some creepy stranger's lips wrapped around it for a good 10 minutes, puffing away. Again, BLARGH.

Do smokers care that they're walking on other people's cigarette butts? Because as a non-smoker, I think it's pretty yuck-o. Would YOU want to walk in a giant ashtray? That's pretty much what it is; a pretty localized ashtray of discarded filters. Seriously, if can't you go for 2 hours without smoking on the beach, you may want to try investing in some Nicorette. And I'm sure the folks behind you who are downwind of your evil smoke puffings would gladly pool together some cash to get you a pack.

But yeah, if smoking does become prohibited on the beach, I would do the Snoopy Dance of Happiness. On the beach. In my bikini. ... Well, maybe in my backyard and fully clothed, but I would still be dancing with JOY!


I usually find these guys mingling about in the tide, half-full of sea water and looking suspiciously like a dead jellyfish. (Don't touch, they could be faking.) The water makes them look all the more slimy. Yech.

What the heck was in this? A sandwich? Some Cheetos? Your cellphone? Suntan lotion? A collection of used Band-Aids that now, since the bag has drifted away, are aimlessly scattered around the general vicinity?

A tip - once you take something out of a plastic bag, if you can't find a proper receptacle to stow it in until you can get to a trash can (like say, oh, your beach bag? the cooler a foot to your left?), put some sand in it to hold it down. Then, remember to take it with you when you leave. AND you get some beach sand as a souvenir, it's win/win!


Little Billy goes to get a hotdog for lunch, and comes back with enough napkins to clog a toilet bowl with. Of course, it's destined that at least half of those napkins are going to take a flight of fancy when a strong gust goes by, scattering along the beach like grains of rice on a wooden floor. (Or uncooked spaghetti... ugh.) Mr. Billy Dad may try to chase after all of them, but that would make him look like a moron, so he may try for a quarter of a second before he sheepishly sits back down and ignores the world from behind his Maxim magazine.

Someone else will get them, he thinks! They'll all get picked up eventually! No, they won't Mr. Billy Dad, you should be getting them... But instead one can only hope that the only thing you'll get is a bill from the ER, after a particularly crotchety seagull tries to eat a wet piece of YOUR napkin bundle, thinking it a tasty treat, and upon finding it just another wasteful piece of paper flies into a rage, bombarding you and pecking your eyes out.

Okay, I'm done! ;) But seriously, there's enough bad juju assaulting our poor environment right now (hello, massive oil spill?) and it makes me sad that people who come to enjoy the nature and beauty of our awesome coastline can't care enough to leave it as clean as it was before they got there. I hope that one day I can walk the beach without having to see any of the above mentioned yuckies, or any yuckies at all. :)


Jessica said...


Last year (or maybe the year before) when I was visiting the in-laws up on the Jersey shore, their portion of the beach was closed because a doctor had been using the area as a medical waste dump! The beach was full of used needles and all sorts of other crap.

Bleh. Just shivered thinking about that.

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Even the beaches along the river here are not very nice. It makes me really sad. It's bad enough that you can tell the different between the Mississippi and the St. Croix because the Mississippi is SO dirty. But the beaches definitely do not help anything.

Lauralee said...

I sure agree! Garbage and trash just dumped wherever is definitely not pretty and its a shame. Hey come check out my blog. That would make my day. :) faith love peace joy .

Gnetch said...

Agreed. Garbage just ruins the place. There are just some people who don't care about anything. They'd just throw their garbage anywhere.

Tracy said...

Hi new follower here , That blog was brilliant Can I suggest you send it to the local paper. Might prick some peoples conscience. How about print it laminate it and post it on the beach. You have a brilliant way with words thanks

Standy said...

Wow dang, and I thought we got it bad down here in Aussieland. Your beach is worse than our tourist's beach!

Jenny said...

Oh, I share your grrrr's. It is ridiculous that grown people can't even bother to walk a few feet to a trash can.

I think you should send this into a local rant line.

It is really well written.

Assaad said...

Ok reading your descriptions of the band-aids and cigarette butts has just given me the willies. I guess its socks on at all times at the beach now....

Gabby said...

This post was hilarious, yet still yucky. Don't forget the actual cans/bottles that get left behind, or better yet, the plastic rings holding said cans (which, I will say, can come in handy when building a sand castle). No, it's not that hard to put stuff in the trash can, but then ... apparently it is.

Can you imagine what their houses look like??? *shudder*

blueviolet said...

I live near Lake Michigan and we get so upset with the tourists. They are horrible with the amount of disrespect they seem to show. Trash everywhere!