More than 103,000 people celebrated the Fourth of July at Big Corona State Beach and while the fireworks were gone in a flash, more than 15,000 pounds of trash were left behind, according to a story in the Daily Pilot.
City officials said on July 5 workers spent several hours removing over 7.5 tons of trash that holiday visitors left behind at the beach. In my opinion, this is simply disgusting.
I think it should be mandatory for students throughout Orange County public elementary schools to take a science class to learn how to dispose of trash and toxic liquids properly. Can you imagine if a caravan of trucks drove up to the gate of the Corona del Mar State Beach parking lot last Wednesday and the lead driver said, "We're going to dump 15,000 pounds of trash on your beach. Is that okay?"
It wouldn't happen. But somehow visitors were allowed to do the exact same thing.
I used to work for Inside the Outdoors, teaching outdoor science study programs to elementary school students in OC. One thing we taught the children was about how pollution affected them and animals. Very few children had any idea that the trash they threw on the ground would be carried by rain into gutters and drains. They didn't realize that eventually, non-biodegradable plastic and toxic liquids such as motor oil and car washing detergent flowed into streams, rivers, lakes and oceans.
Most of the children were surprised to learn about where casually tossed trash winds up. But, quite frankly, at first some didn't care. However, once they learned there was a connection between plastics and toxic liquids winding up killing their food or filling their food with toxins, they ALL became very interested.
I was only able to teach a handful of public school students a day. But by implementing a science unit once a year in all public OC elementary schools, I believe children could learn a lot about how to protect our environment. In time, the amount of trash and toxins on our grounds and in our water would be decreased, not increased.
Kids should be educated about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, how Singapore manages to be the cleanest city in the world and that more than 176,000,000 pounds of cigarette butts in the United States get tossed each year.
If there already are units about this in OC public schools, respond to this! That must not be working. But respond and recommend ideas that WILL work.
And will someone please invent a cigarette butt made out of soybean oil?