How one wine company is rescuing the world’s shores, one beach at a time.
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Barefoot Wine - Beach Rescue

There are more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in our oceans.

That's a STAGGERING amount.

269,000 tons of that debris floats on the surface of the water, while the rest pollutes the ocean depths, according to National Geographic.


How did it all get there? Well, about half of it comes from land, washed out to sea from storm drains or waterways, sent into the water by poorly managed waste facilities, or left on the beach by beachgoers.

Luckily, caring people across the world are coming together to keep our beaches clean and take beach waste out of the water. Check it out!

What an incredible way to do something meaningful for Mother Nature and have fun in the process! In fact, beach cleanups and feeling good go more hand-in-hand than we might think.

All images via Barefoot Wine & Bubbly.

Cleaning beaches can actually be more fulfilling than just walking on them.

In a 2010 study published in Environment and Behaviour, scientists examined the behavior of volunteers as they engaged in different beach activities, such as rock pooling or walking along the coast. But when it came to beach cleaning, they noticed a significant spike in participants' well-being, their understanding of the marine environment, and their desire to participate in future beach cleanups.

Which is absolutely awesome! But then again, who doesn't love a day at the beach? It's no wonder that a chance to improve it only makes it that much more special the next time around.

Figuring out how to make caring for our beaches and oceans a habit is a much-needed step in the right direction.

"There is no one answer to solving the problem of marine litter, but the public are absolutely key — we all use plastics in our everyday lives so small changes in behavior by a lot of people can have a huge effect," Richard Thompson, professor of marine biology at Plymouth University and an expert on marine litter, told Phys.org.

"The challenge is to reverse some 60 years of training for the throwaway society we live in today, lessening the environmental and societal impacts of marine litter, and initiatives such as beach cleans can play a big role in increasing awareness of the problems and potential solutions."

The challenge to get rid of marine waste may be daunting, but together, we can do amazing things.

No doubt it'll take time.

But there's an old Chinese proverb that says, "To get through the hardest journey, we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping."

And beach cleanups are a small but important step.

If people around the world have that same mindset in the journey toward cleaner shores, we may meet our goal sooner rather than later.

How can you help? Celebrate World Beach Rescue Day (WBRD) on July 9, 2016.

It's part of a project of Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and the Surfrider Foundation called Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project. Together, they've been cleaning beaches around the world for years. For their 10th anniversary, they decided to start WBRD and do something a little special.

Different countries will be holding different beach cleanups simultaneously with the single goal of improving the conditions of their shores.

Since the project's inception 10 years ago, the beach-cleaning effort has expanded to more than 14 countries around the world with 14,000 volunteers who have collected more than 20 tons of trash from beaches.

This year, they're encouraging people to do their part and “Leave Only Footprints.”

And, of course, have some fun with it.

Don't worry! Volunteers will be given everything they need: reusable bags, gloves, and ... wine?

That's right! WINE! Once the cleaning is completed, everyone will be able to kick back with Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and enjoy some delicious food courtesy of the Surfrider Foundation.

A sunny day at the beach. Improving the environment. Celebrating with a glass of wine. How can you not keep coming back?

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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