(Contributions by Izzy Endsley and Jessica Campbell)
When Monday morning comes, our beautiful, special, and cherished beaches look like the aftermath of a crazy party.
We get it – we love to spend all day on the beach too, playing, hanging out, and swimming. But, when our beaches have more plastic than rocks on its shores, we have a problem on our hands. Now, our rangers and beachfront owners cannot possibly pick everything up themselves everyday, so we at Dig the Dunes have decided to offer some suggestions on how everyone can help keep our beaches clean!
Reuse! – Bring reusable drink and food containers instead of plastic bags and water bottles that can blow away in the wind. Plus, leaving behind your reusable bottle means buying another one which can be pricey!
Eat beforehand – Why waste time eating when you can be swimming, playing volleyball, looking for beach glass, or climbing up the sand dune? Eat beforehand so that you don’t have to even carry containers and bags.
Make cleaning up a game! – Pack it in, pack it out. Make a game out of cleaning up the trash around you with kids. See how much they can pick up, or how fast. Whatever you bring in, make sure to bring it back out and fast!
Bring your own trash bag – If you’re planning on bringing a lot of food in, just bring your own trash bag as well. This way, you don’t have to worry about walking trash to the bin, or piling it all back into your beach bag.
Trash walk – Bring your dog, your partner, or your friends and walk the beach with a trash bag! Enjoy a walk on the beach and pick up any loose trash you see on the shore. There is no extra effort and no slight to your enjoying the beach. And you get a little cardio in! Picking up litter can get you a lot of squats.
Sunset cleaning – Maybe hit the sunset a bit early and help clean up the beach at the end of a busy day. Coming at this time helps get the beach cleaner that day, without the trash blowing around at night if it gets windy or stormy.
Help spread the word! – Make this a habit that you and your family can enjoy and one that you can tell your friends. Post it on social media, invite people to go with you, and encourage others on the beach to take their trash out if you see them leaving.
Plogging – Join Dig the Dunes and friends in their first Plogging event (info coming soon!) or plan your own! What is plogging? It’s jogging and picking up litter! Jog across the beach while picking up trash, making it a fun social event with some really good exercise. Dig the Dunes has a couple of these in the works and more information will be available soon.
Become a Save the Dunes member – The Save the Dunes organization preserves, protects, and restores the Dunes and beaches of Northwest Indiana. Any donation and support you can give does so much in their efforts to keeping our beaches perfect. More info here.
Donate to the Indiana Dunes State Park and the National Lakeshore! – Donate money to get more workers in to clean up the beaches, or add in more trash cans, or patrol the area better. Donations can go a long way, even just a few dollars!
If anyone else has a suggestion to keep the beaches clean, add in a comment! Otherwise, we will see you out there on the beach, trash bag included!
Find out about fun things in the dunes, how you can help and more. Sign up for the Dig the Dunes e-newsletter today!