Have you ever thought about the impact you can have on your local beaches by cleaning up just a little bit of trash? It may seem like there is just too much garbage for one person to make a difference, but when communities work together, the outcome can be amazing. In fact, the Ocean Conservancy’s beach cleanups have removed more than 300 million pounds of trash over the last 30 years.

You don’t have to wait until September to make a difference in your community. AMC members and their families work together each summer to clean up local beaches, and we’re going to get to work again on July 25. Although our cleanup won’t involve a large gathering this year, we can all do our part individually to keep our beaches and parks clean. Here’s how to plan your cleanup, why you should participate, and how to stay safe.

Planning Your Beach Cleanup

Plan a day that works for you to do a beach cleanup, whether you join our July 25 efforts or pick a day of your own. Make sure you come to the beach prepared with the supplies you need so you will be able to clean up as much as possible. Along with garbage bags, you will likely need gloves, brooms, and other cleaning supplies. Of course, don’t forget to take care of your workers. Pack some reusable water bottles, snacks, sun protection, and a first aid kit.

Why Clean the Beaches?

Keeping your beaches and parks beautiful is a great reason to clean them up, but satisfaction isn’t the only benefit to this service. A clean beach helps the local wildlife and boosts the economy, and getting the job done is a good way to stay healthy.

“There is satisfaction to say, ‘I removed ten pounds of trash from my beach,’” says Kara Lavender Law, a research oceanography professor. “Even if it’s only ten pounds, that’s ten pounds that isn’t going to go into the open ocean.”

In addition to protecting wildlife, “clean beaches provide economic benefit to local communities in the form of tourism dollars,” says Laura Parker at National Geographic. “In southern California, researchers calculated that in Orange County alone that potential could translate into $46 million in just one summer.”

Whether you head to Jessamyn West Park, walk the Yorba Linda Lakebed Park loop, or take a trip to Newport Beach, cleaning up your beaches and parks makes life better for you and your community. And if you want to burn some calories, picking up trash can actually be a workout!

Staying Safe

Unfortunately, gathering in a big group this year is a no-go due to COVID-19. However, that doesn’t mean you should forego your cleanup altogether. Instead, limit your group to immediate family, roommates, or close friends. Even with people you know well, you should try to socially distance. Follow the CDC’s recommendations to “minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet them.” Make sure to abide by California’s mask mandate and wear a mask when you can’t keep a six-foot distance from people who don’t live with you.

Cleaning up beaches and parks is a fun and memorable way to serve your community. Join in our beach and park cleanup effort on July 25 or anytime during the month of July! Tag Yorba Linda Pines Apartments on Facebook or @YorbaLindaPines on Twitter in your photos and use the hashtags #AMCcleanup and #livehappy. Your efforts make a difference!