Do Your Part on July 4th
A few days ago, I walked the beach at Avila and picked up a load of trash at the end of the day – a pile of beer bottles, food containers, straws— and unbelievably, a nice tanktop. To me, the idea of leaving your trash behind for someone else to pick up is simply incomprehensible. Not so long ago, KSBY reported on the gross amount of trash left on Avila Beach after Memorial Weekend. On Monday after the holiday, volunteers and staff picked mountains of trash – 50 trash cans full of garbage left by weekend visitors. People’s thoughtlessness costs taxpayer dollars and valuable time away from volunteers who would not spend the “day after” picking up other’s garbage.
If you are a tourist, visitor for the first time, or come regularly to our beautiful coastal towns, many of us who do value a trash-free community want to remind everyone that we don’t want garbage left to pick up after you leave. Our city and county parks, the trails and beaches are not trash cans to conveniently toss out waste, cigarette butts, food containers, broken umbrellas or chairs.
As you pack your picnic to head to the beach or park, please think of the choices you have. First consider bringing reusable containers, refillable water bottles and your own coffee mugs. Purchase recyclable, compostable or reusable products.
SLO Foam Free, a local grassroots group working on the problem of Polystyrene Foam, is proud that Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay now have an ordinance to ban foam in restaurants, mailing centers and retail sale. Paso Robles and Grover Beach will discuss these details this month at their city councils. Unfortunately, it takes a city ordinance to get businesses to do the right thing and stop using and selling Polystyrene. After an additional two cities pass this ordinance, SLO Foam Free will urge the County to do the same so that 15 CSD’s are part of the effort to reduce foam trash. There is no recycling for any kind of foam so this heads to the landfill. Using foam is a cost to marine life, windblown trash that floats out to the ocean, ingesting chemicals released into hot, acidic or oily food, and tax dollars that must be spent to haul this waste away is not being owned by the citizen or business who uses it. Please consider our environment first. An apt quote by a visitor in May: “Don’t wait for the government to hand you a solution!”
San Luis Obispo