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I start most mornings by running the dogs so that they will sleep while I work all afternoon.  When I first went down to the beach this morning, I brought Ross and Kess.  I took the two rough coats to the beach first today, wanting to get there before many people show up.  Dogs technically aren’t supposed to be on the beach, and since Kess is prone to rush up to greet people, I try to either walk her there alone (so I can focus on her) or take her there when it’s quiet.  The same is true for Ross, except that my concern with him is that he’ll charge up to other dogs.

Today there were no people and no dogs, just a lovely stretch of beach and plenty of warm sunshine.  It would have been perfect if were not for all the garbage on the beach.  I was shocked and dismayed to see how much crap people had left behind: water bottles, candy wrappers, pop cans, even the garbage from an entire meal – styrofoam containers, paper plates, plastic cutlery.  It’s as if people ate their meal, then got up and left.

What are these people thinking?  What lazy, slobbish idiots come to this beach?  Who raised these self-centered jerks?

Can you tell I’m upset?  This beach is usually lovely and clean, yet after a heavy use weekend, it looks like garbage dump.  GRRRRR!!!!

After walking Ross & Kess, I went home, swapped dogs, grabbed two bags, and headed back to the beach.  It was still quiet, but I was also less concerned about my dogs bothering the tourists.  To hell with them I thought, as I walked along picking up garbage and throwing the ball for the girls.  I filled one bag to bursting with recycling, and had to tuck stuff under my arms when I ran out of room.  I filled the other bag full of garbage, and even made separate trips to the trash to drop off big stuff like a broken lawn chair.

After combing the full length of the beach, I dragged all I had collected a block off the beach to a garbage and recycling depot.  By then I was ready for a swim myself!  Dripping with sweat and sticky from dripping beer, wine, pop and who knows what, I stripped down and jumped into the waves.

The water was wonderful.  It was so warm, in fact, that I found it not quite as refreshing as I had hoped.  The waves were very big and the girls didn’t follow me in.  I only went about 10 feet out (just to get past the breakers) as I worry about undertow when it gets rough like this.  Had I had someone watching and a floatation device, I would have floated there all morning.  As it was, I didn’t want to risk drowning so I came up on shore and sat in the wake, letting the waves crash over me.

I can’t believe people can come to such a beautiful place and treat it with such disregard.  It really leaves me wondering if there is any hope for change.  I mean, if people can’t pick up after themselves in a place like this, what kind of damage are they doing in less inspiring locales?  I end up packing out other people’s garbage just about everywhere I go these days, and it’s really upsetting.  Take a look at the pile of glass I picked up on one single walk through the forest surrounding campus this spring, where I used to live:

This is one of the reasons I wanted to move out of the city, yet here I find garbage strewn about even in more remote places.  I remember finding garbage floating in the ocean after hiking 25 km through a forest preserve to a secluded beach.  Our planet is choking on garbage, yet people keep leaving it everywhere.  Perhaps the scenario from Wall-E is not that far fetched after all…


One Response

  1. Bravo again. As I was reading this I said to myself that I’d have to get out there and clean up the garbage – and then you did exactly that.
    Humans can be such slobs – especially when not ‘in their own backyard’

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