Take a walk along the beach with a couple of Beach Cleanup Superhero's
Updated: Apr 4
Imagine this … you’re walking along the shore of a beautiful and beach, taking in the moment and watching the sunset. People are gathered, it’s a warm summer day and you’re looking for the perfect spot to sit down in the sand. Right as you find a spot, you step on a small piece of plastic and then look around to see other bits of plastic and garbage scattered throughout the beach. It takes away from the experience, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this scenario is one that many people, including Tenille and Wood Belcher, have found themselves in. Beach cleanups are what initially brought the couple together in 2017 and suddenly Beach Relief was born!
What is Beach Relief?
Beach Relief is a non-profit organization that has been working to clean beaches, educate themselves and others, advocate for conscious consumerism and provide solutions for ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and refuse – starting right at home!
After a trip to the Bahamas where the couple met and took part in many beach cleanups, as well as creating a habit of bringing a sack with them to clean up trash whenever they were at the beach. By removing trash such as cutlery, plastic bags, plastic water bottles, straws and much more, they’re calling for others to help clean our beaches and shorelines. Doing so will keep plastic away from harming animals and ending up in the foods we eat.
With over 500 beach cleanups under their belt, Tenille and Wood hope to inspire others to take action, encouraging others to make small and simple changes in their lifestyle that will have a lasting impact!
How Have Beach Cleanups Been Affected by the Pandemic?
After discovering Beach Relief, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about what they were doing, with the hopes of sharing their story. Upon reaching out to Tenille and Wood, I quickly found out how the pandemic was affecting beach cleanups.
They shared that “COVID has been a bit of a roadblock in terms of having organized beach cleanups and educational group events that had to be canceled”. Despite the inability to gather as a group, Beach Relief has found more time to create a YouTube channel – Beach Relief International. Using this platform as a means to educate others about environmental issues, they’ve been creating weekly videos called “Friday Fun Finds/Crazy Beach Finds”, where they discuss five things or categories of things they typically find on the beach. They share some history, where the item probably came from, its environmental impact and more.
By choosing to see this challenge as a creative opportunity for growth and education, they continue to provide as much useful information surrounding beach cleanups as possible.
What Can People Be Doing?
Do what you can, one beach at a time! They understand the importance of educating people without telling them what to do or not do. They further explain how people can get involved by “promoting the idea of ‘do what you can’ and that EVERYTHING you do, makes an impact and difference. I.e. using a refillable water bottle instead of buying plastic water bottles or picking up one piece of trash/little wherever you are can help save our planet and wildlife. When we think about how much trash we have picked up ourselves in the past three years, we are amazed at the impact that we know that has had”.
It’s important to remember that one small action at a time is what’s most important. We can all change the world for the better by opening ourselves up to the many possibilities of change and what that looks like!
If you’re lacking the motivation to keep going, remember that “doing good things for the planet does two things – it helps the planet AND it makes you feel good!”. Tenille and Wood couldn’t have said it better. This line of thinking is what encourages them to continue cleaning up beaches and educating others.
Get Involved Today:
There are many ways you can start taking action today! If you’re in need of a gift for someone in your life, Beach Relief offers a “Clean a Mile” package where they clean a mile of the coastline for you or someone you dedicate it to. It comes with a certificate and photo of the trash collected during that mile.