How Shore Buddies Taught Me To Be More Sustainable
Hi! I'm Ana and for seven months I've been a social media intern for Shore Buddies. In the past months, I have learned a great deal about myself and the impact I have on my environment. Growing up in Florida, I have visited the beaches and swamps surrounding my home. If I could sum up the Sunshine State in three words, it would be mosquitoes, alligators, and oranges. Our field trips were spent exploring the Everglades and snorkeling off the Keys. As central as the local habitat was in my upbringing, I couldn’t recall knowing too much about the harmful impact I was having on it.
As the years went by, I learned for myself the importance of recycling, but it wasn’t until I saw a (viral) video of a straw stuck in a turtle’s nose, that I truly understood the harms of single-use plastic. Since then, I have eliminated straws from my waste. Learning from Shore Buddies, environmental organizations, and personal experiences, I have managed to greatly reduce my plastic waste. It’s easier to say “no” to a plastic bag. Easier to tell the waiter I don’t need a straw with my drink. Easier to think before I act.
The great thing about positive change is it catches on. My entire family is making an active effort to reduce their single-use plastic. Just the other day, my mom purchased a set of metal straws. Gleefully, she pulled them out and was excited to share them with my sisters. These simple acts can make a world of a difference.
In the seven months of my internship, I didn’t make a radical lifestyle change. Instead, it was a gradual consciousness of what I was consuming and wasting. I’m still learning. Still reminding myself to carry a refillable water bottle. Still remembering a bag for my groceries. But I’m getting there. As long as I keep actively trying, I know my efforts are not wasted. Even though my time with Shore Buddies is coming to a close, the experience has wedged open a door of knowledge and reflection. In my time, I’ve attended beach cleanups, researched different methods of sustainability, and met people who view the environment as a priority and not an afterthought. I’m inspired and hopeful for the future of our beautiful planet!
(That's my hand!)
Ana the Intern