Summer Break, Debris-Free

Posted Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:00

Summer is in full swing and we should all find some time to enjoy it whether you’re off for the season, taking a well-deserved vacation, or simply taking full advantage of your weekends. Summer’s a great time to get outside and spend some time with friends and family, but let’s make sure we’re enjoying the great outdoors responsibly.

  • Gearing up for an epic water balloon fight? Don’t forget that when those balloon bombs drop, they leave lots of pieces behind. Make sure you take some time after your victory to pick up the remaining fragments, or even better—forgo the balloons and use those super soakers instead.
  • Looking for a fun outdoor activity but not quite sure what to do? Consider getting involved in a local cleanup. Not only will it get you outside, but you’ll be helping the environment and potentially even your local economy! A 2014 study found that communities increased revenue by decreasing the amount of debris on their beaches, since tourists want a pretty, clean beach to visit. Can’t find a cleanup in your area? Start one yourself and use the Marine Debris Tracker app to record your finds.
  • Are you that tourist that’s looking to visit a nice, clean beach? Enjoy it! And then make sure you leave it nice and clean. Take your trash with you and make sure you keep track of all those beach toys.
  • Picnicking in your local park? Skip the single-use plates, cups, and utensils and using the real stuff. Think about what you need and refuse the single-use items you don’t, like that plastic straw in your lemonade. If your picnic is marking a special occasion like a wedding, birthday, or holiday, be responsible with your decorations. Choose environmentally-friendly options, like paper streamers, and please don’t release balloons into the environment.

There are lots of ways to enjoy the summer season while still being kind to the earth. Remember to follow the “3Rs”—reduce, reuse, recycle—whenever possible and make responsible choices when you can. Enjoy the sun and warm weather and make sure you do it debris-free.

A plastic bottle on a beach.
Enjoy your summer responsibly and pick up after yourself when enjoying the outdoors. (Photo Credit: Ocean Conservancy)


Summer Break, Debris-Free

Posted Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:00

For citation purposes, unless otherwise noted, this article was authored by the NOAA Marine Debris Program.

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