A Beginners’ Guide to Beach Cleanups

(Photo: Joe Katchka)

While cleaning beaches, it is always wise to err on the side of caution. Some of the crap we have removed from the sand would make you cringe – syringes, condoms, used drug paraphernalia, etc. Chances are, if it exists on this planet, we have found it on the beach.

So, with that said, if you’re planning on attending a beach cleanup anytime soon, you’ve come to the right place. After running 69 beach cleanups, let’s just say we’ve learned a thing or two. And instead of letting that knowledge go to waste, we decided to put it to work and come up with some tips for all you newcomers out there.

(Photo: Russ LaScala)

Closed Toe Shoes: There are times when sharp items can be hidden underneath sand or even trash (glass, rusty nails, syringes). So, to prevent injury we suggest closed to shoes with a nice thick sole.

Sunscreen: Cleanups tend to be scheduled in the morning hours, so when you arrive it can sometimes be cloudy and cold. But don’t be fooled, when that marine layer burns off, the sun can be brutal with no protection. That’s why we suggest you bring along some eco-friendly sunscreen for you and your friends to help protect your skin from the sun’s rays and also the glare from the ocean.

Sunglasses: Because you’ll look way cooler in some shades. Also, if you’re on a beach in the sun for hours on end, you need to protect your eyes from the glare.

Hat or Visor: Your forehead and nose will thank you.

Plenty of Drinking Water: When it’s hot outside and you are constantly moving, it’s best to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. Throw in a slice of lemon and some ice-cubes, and you have yourself a nice refreshing drink that will keep you cool during the peak heat.

Renewable Supplies: A bucket, some mechanic/gardening gloves, and a trash picker will give you all the tools necessary to be a lean, mean cleaning machine.

Positive Attitude: Last but certainly not least, a positive attitude makes all the difference. Positive people motivate others, they lift everyone up, and when we’re all on a good vibe, it shows in the amount of trash we remove.

Well, that’s it, you’re ready to go! Now that you’re all geared up, you can start cleaning the beach, and with these tips you can be confident you’ll be prepared for anything! 

Stay safe, have fun, and most importantly, enjoy the good karma.

(Photo: Adrian Rejon)