In 2018, Rhea and I went to a beach she frequented as a child. We were happy to sit in the sun and feel the salty water on our skin. We were shocked at the amount of trash all over the beach. Mostly there was fishing line and rope, and we even found a very long air conditioning hose, and an octopus trap from the West African coast. Most of the items we found were from single use plastics and you could see where fish or turtles had been eating them. In Bermuda, because the Gulf Stream travels west, then north, then north east, a lot of the trash found on that beach is not ours, but ocean trash.
Rhea has a kind heart, and how we treat Mother Earth heavies her heart. What I like about Rhea is that she reacts and solves problems, not leaving it to others. From this experience, Beach Cleanups were born. We would find a place that needed cleaning, post it on Facebook and people would show up to love Gaia. We met likeminded people and shared information on how to use less plastic and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
As a family, there are a few things we do to try to lower our carbon footprint. We buy food in glass bottles and reuse them. We shop for second-hand clothing, compost food waste, and use reusable cutlery and bottles.
When Rhea has free time, you can find her hiking the tea fields of Hangzhou, exploring the hills of Spain or mermaiding on the beaches of Bermuda. Rhea is a child of God and I am extremely pleased she chooses to protect Gaia.
*There were no group cleanups in 2020 nor are there any scheduled for this year.
Photo credit to Weldon Wade