A Greener Day at the Beach
On a sizzling summer day, why not head to the beach? Keep yourself and your families cool and enjoy some outdoors time and sunshine. Here are some tips to keep your beach visit as keen and green as can be!
Picking the beach - I love to go to beaches at state parks. Even though it's usually not free to park, I like to support state parks and their conservation efforts. I usually get a season parking pass to our state parks here in Massachusetts and throughout the summer we visit local state parks with ocean beaches, lakes, and ponds. You can also find the cleanest area beaches on the EPA website.
Getting to the beach - Look for beaches walking/biking distance, public transit accessible, or the closest to home. Maybe you don't live near the ocean, but there might be a lake beach narby. If going with a group, consider carpooling.
Eating at the beach - I like fish and chips at the beach as much as the next seafood lover, but it's definitely greener to pack your own picnic. In the spirit of a waste-free lunch, aim for a waste-free picnic - reusable water bottles, food containers, cloth napkins.
Playing at the beach - Kids love buckets and shovels, but if you don't have any, look around the house for things you can use as beach toys. Bring an old collander, old yogurt tubs, and other kitchen stuff that you don't mind getting sandy. You can always wash them when you get back.
Exploring at the beach - Leave wildlife alone. That horseshoe crab might be kinda cool, but don't bother it! If you see any "keep off dunes" signs, please obey them. They are habitats for plants and animals, including endangered ones. Dunes also help prevent erosion, which is a serious problem.
Cleaning up at the beach - Bring a garbage bag with you just in case the beach you go to doesn't have readily available trash and/or recycling receptacles. Bring your compostables home to compost. Clean up after your pets. If you smoke, don't smoke at the beach...cigarette butts are unsightly! Remember to "leave no trace."