Last month, we hosted a beach clean-up along the shores of Lake Michigan, at 31st Street Beach here in Chicago. More than 20 people joined us to help pick up trash and recycling to ensure that it doesn't make its way into the Great Lakes.
In two hours, we gathered about 35 pounds of trash. Most of it was tiny: 700 cigarette butts, 300 food wrappers, 75 or so straws, 200 miscellaneous pieces of plastic, a few hundred plastic and metal bottle caps. It was a fun way to spend time outdoors, chatting with community members as we gathered small bits and pieces from the sand and the grass.
The event was a good reminder of why zero waste is so important, too: in some ways, it's easier to reduce one's trash output than to clean up even one small stretch of beach. Better to try to avoid food that comes in wrappers when we can, to say no to straws, to be vigilant about avoiding things that are neither recyclable or compostable. We're grateful to everyone who pitched in and joined us, and we hope to see you at our September event on the 21st!