The other day I was at the beach and a little girl of about 3 was tiptoeing quickly along the hot sand, she came to a sudden stop, squatted down and picked up a piece of garbage, “Trash, mommy!” she exclaimed, as she handed it over to be placed in the garbage where it rightfully belonged. I smiled at the cuteness of it, but as the thought settled in I began to realize how many people were at the beach; how many of us had just kept walking on by that very piece of garbage? Sitting nearby, I hadn’t even noticed it.
As a cancer sign, I have a soul that is drawn to water. It gives me a sense of peace and rejuvenation. So it bothers me to know that this problem of garbage in and on our earth’s beaches extends beyond that little piece of garbage at my local beach. Overall our oceans are in pretty bad shape.
I recently discovered a couple, Richard and Judith Lang, that walk their local Kehoe Beach collecting plastic; a lot of it. Since 1999 they have been taking these pieces of plastic, cleaning them, and turning them into a myriad of creative art from murals to jewelry. Their main goal: to draw attention to the problem of water pollution, and the misuse of plastic, and push people toward cleaning up their beaches.
Here’s an excerpt from the Smithsonian Mag article, Making Beautiful Art out of Beach Plastic
“During our two hours on Kehoe, we find plenty of common items: white Tiparillo tips, old Bic lighters, shriveled balloons, corroded SuperBalls, nylon rope and shotgun wads: the frayed plastic cores of shotgun shells, expelled when a shot is fired. The Langs scour the tide line and search below the rocky cliffs with Zen-like concentration. In the past, diligence has rewarded them with everything from vintage toy soldiers to tiny red Monopoly houses. But finding plastic on the beach, even if it’s your main art material, is always bittersweet. Vastly outnumbering those rare treasures are single-use water bottles, sun lotion tubes, soft-drink lids—and tiny round pellets called nurdles.”
Read more of the article and view more pics here
Richard and Judith Lang prove that every “little bit” of garbage we pick up can make a difference. It’s one less piece of plastic for a bird or fish to swallow, and one more step towards making our waters clean again. Our world’s limited water supply has given us a lot of peace and sustenance, the least we can do is return the favor.
Let’s make our oceans, lakes and rivers a cleaner work of art.