My Earth Day Pledge

"Take care of the earth and she will take care of you."

^Insert and ocean in the above quote. I'm a water-woman. I love me mama earth, but I also adore the Atlantic and the Pacific and all that H2O in between and all around. I mean, they're the same, but they're not, too. So I'm taking it upon myself to make it a point to include our planet's oceans in my celebration of Earth Day. That's cool, right? 

I'm starting a semi-new tradition. An earth day resolution of sorts because I believe resolutions can create revolutions. And while we're revolving on this giant, wondrous, gassy, liquidy, earthen sphere, I want to do more than I did yesterday to make the planet better for tomorrow.

Last spring, I summed up my thoughts on "going gradually green" taking small steps to celebrate Earth Day everyday. I also took a portion of the proceeds from my novel, To the Sea and made a donation to the Surf Rider Foundation. That's a start...

Smooshing these two actions together, I've decided that I'm going to take an annual Earth Day pledge. I'll pick a way to reduce, reuse, recycle, or otherwise reconnect me to this wonderful place I call home. 

This year's pledge: beach clean up.

I'm at the beach multiple times per week. (It knocks my socks off to realize how very fortunate I am that I can write that. And then my socks stay off when I walk along the sand or wade into the water, relishing the awe that great big puddle inspires.) 

And sheesh, there's so much trash! From cigarette butts, to odd bits of plastic, fishing line, to random things like a single glove, a CD, and a chunk of a car's taillight. Today I pulled out a styrofoam cup bobbing in a tide pool, three candy wrappers, and more pieces of random plastic than I could identify. 

I'm not going to lie. I'm not perfect. I've walked right past trash on the ground. I'm sure random things have fallen from my beach bag and landed in the water. In fact, the Pacific claimed my wedding ring, the Atlantic a pair of sunglasses, and the Mediterranean, a sock. Don't ask. It's regrettable, especially the ring. But we do what we can.

Me, picking up trash along the beach, may not be much, but it's something, it's a start, a shift in my own impact, and my hope is that it will not only keep garbage from entering the water, but also inspire others to do the same.

Live by the ocean? No? Wherever you find yourself, here are 30 things we can do right now to help protect our marine environments. 

Here are 20 facts about ocean pollution that are urging me to take action.

Wondering how long it takes things to decompose once they reach our watersheds? Check out this infographic citing over 10 common items that take a staggeringly long time to disappear.

Why does all this matter? I can think of 1 reason. This place we call home supports and sustains us—we ought to remember to be good houseguests.

What are you doing to celebrate our planet this Earth Day? Please let me know below. Oh and a sorta P.S. (But it's also up here so you don't miss it) I just read this inspiring post by vegan warrior and awesome mama, Seyward from Bonzai Aphrodite. (We met at last year's Earth Day festival in Santa Barbara and she's a gem!)

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