How to Start a Beach Cleanup in Your Area


Photo by Jeremy Bezanger

If you’re someone who loves to frequent the beach, you’ve probably noticed the disheartening fact that most beaches are strewn with litter and trash. Whether it’s from people leaving behind bottles, cigarette butts washing up onto shore, or run off from nearby streets, it’s never a good feeling to see your favorite beach filled with trash. 

Thankfully, you have the power to make an impact and help be a solution to the problem. If you’ve ever had any desire to help keep your local beaches clean, now is the perfect time to double down and start an ocean cleanup in your area. 

Having some guidance around how to make it happen can make the process easier and more accessible. 

Start with Family and Friends

When organizing a beach cleanup for the first time, it can be tricky to put yourself out there and try to recruit others you don’t know. As such, a great place to start is asking family and friends to get involved and join you. By doing this, you can start easily without having to do any real marketing or outreach to the public. 

In addition, when people see you with your family and friends on the beach, they may ask about your group and offer to join. 

Take Advantage of Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool that can help you reach many people quickly, easily, and for free. You can make posts on various social media websites with information about the location and times of certain beach cleanup meets. This is sure to get you some people who are interested in helping and would like to come join. 

To further spread your messages, it can be helpful to ask friends to post about meetups as well, that way you spread the word to more people. The more consistent you are about posting on social media, the easier it will be to attract new people to your group. 

Ask Lifeguards About Beaches

Though lifeguards are typically more concerned with keeping beaches safe and teaching the public about ocean safety tips, they can also be a great resource for people starting their own cleanups. Lifeguards spend a lot of time on beaches and can help you understand which areas and beaches are in the most need of a cleanup. 

By tapping lifeguards to help you pinpoint where to start organizing cleanups, you can make a greater impact.

Look to Schools

Oftentimes, students in high school are looking for community service ideas for their resumes and college applications. As such, they can be a helpful resource when it comes to finding people to join your cleanup meetings. 

Putting up flyers at local high schools or communicating with school staff such as counselors can help you attract more attendees to your beach clean up and make a bigger impact on your local beaches. 

Take Inspiration from Others

A great way to get a rough idea of how to successfully start and maintain an ocean cleanup in your area is by looking to other organizations or individuals who do it regularly. Take notice of what their process looks like to spread the word and use the ideas that seem like they could help you. 

In addition, it never hurts to try and reach out to others. By asking others who have done it before you, you can probably glean some interesting insights about the process while getting some extremely helpful guidance to help you navigate your first cleanup. 

Tap Local Businesses

Many times, especially in coastal areas, local business owners are empathetic to beach and ocean cleanup causes. This being the case, these businesses will sometimes sponsor beach cleanups in different ways. 

For example, a drycleaner might provide you with some money to buy trash bags and clean up sticks while a taco shop might provide volunteers with free tacos. For this reason, it can be helpful to ask around and find some local businesses to help sponsor your first cleanup event and help keep your local beaches shiny and clean. 

Check Local Laws and Regulations

Different places have different laws and regulations about holding group events in public spaces. While the chances of you getting a ticket in a coastal town are slim, it doesn’t hurt to get all of the proper documentation and permission you need before you start. 

Check online at your local government agency’s website or give someone a call if you think it might help to explain your cause to them. Chances are it won’t be very difficult to get approval and you’ll have everything you need to legally organize an ocean cleanup in no time. 

Take the Leap

While it can sometimes be scary to put yourself out there and make a project happen, organizing a cleanup can have a significant and positive impact on the environment. By working to keep your local beaches and ocean clean, you’re making them better for your entire community. 

In addition to the work you do yourself, your work has the power to inspire others to do the same. The sooner you organize your first beach cleanup, the sooner you’ll be able to start making a positive impact on the environment around you.

Sea Going Green is a sustainable tourism consultancy working with clients in the marine tourism industry around the world to help them lower their environmental footprint and engage guests in conservation activities.

Looking to involve guests in conservation activities or create CSR initiatives? Get in touch.

 If you’ve ever had any desire to help keep your local beaches clean, now is
the perfect time to double down and start an ocean cleanup in your area.
Read on for more.Read MoreEducationBlog – Sea Going Green


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