Why We Need To Keep Our Beaches Clean

Why We Need To Keep Our Beaches Clean

There are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean that is not only harming marine life, but us as well.
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Summer is here and that means endless days of sun and lounging around on the beach! As relaxing as the beach may be, there is one thing you must remember; take your trash off the beach before you leave!

Many people visit the beach every day during the summer season, but not as many people actually take care of the beach. Often times people just leave their trash on the beach thinking that someone else will come pick it up, but that trash eventually ends up in the ocean and is very harmful to all the creatures that live there.

It is estimated that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean today. While not all of this trash is from what is left on beaches, some of it is. In 2015, 7,360 volunteers in San Diego removed 197,788 pieces of trash, weighing 9,825 pounds, from their beaches. If that’s how much trash was removed from San Diego, imagine how much trash could be removed from all of our beaches?!

The amount of trash on our beaches and in our oceans is not just growing each year, but so is the amount of marine animals that are killed by our waste.

Fish, sea turtles, birds, and many other marine animals mistake our trash as food and end up dying because they cannot digest the plastic. According to various studies, at least 100 million marine animals are killed each year from plastic pollution alone.

In addition to marine animals being killed by our waste, we are being harmed as well. A variety of fish and other seafood have had increasing levels of mercury in them throughout the past few years. In some cases, the fish ingest these pollutants (such as mercury) from chemicals being dumped into the ocean, in other cases it has been found that the fish ingest these chemicals from the plastic debris they mistake as food. These pollutants in plastic, especially mercury, are very harmful to humans and just another reason why we should clean up our beaches and oceans.

We all love our sunshine filled days in the sand, but when the day is done, clean up. If we can eliminate the trash on our beaches we can help eliminate trash in our oceans.

Cover Image Credit: Silencelikethunder.com

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To The Alternate Version Of Myself That Could've Been

My life could've turned out differently, but I'm glad I chose the path that I did instead of the alternative.

JordynL
JordynL
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If you watch or read anything with a supernatural plot, you may be aware of alternate universes or realities that are mirroring ours in a different plane. When I allow my mind to wander, I catch myself imagining what my alternate self is doing and how that life has turned out. However, if you don't watch or read anything like that, the reality of the situation is that I like to refer back to all the decisions I've made that have shaped me into the person I am today. I look back at everything I could've done instead of the things that I have done. After realizing a lot of events and decisions in hind sight that could've swayed me to the other side, I'm glad that I'm the person that I am today instead of what I inevitably would've been.

Those those of you who don't know me, I'm the type of person that sets her mind to something and follows through with it. Anyone can have this mindset, sure. The difference is choosing what to do with it; to use it in a positive light and become successful, or a negative one and be a waste of life and leech off of the government. I don't mean to "toot my own horn", but I've done everything in a positive and semi-responsible light and I'm proud of it. So, toot-toot.


In my alternate reality, I was a stoner that spent all my time with the "burn outs". I constantly went to parties and snuck into my house hours after curfew smelling like almost every illegal thing under the sun. I always would've been in detention, getting suspended, and maybe even expelled- all while not caring in the slightest. I ended up being a high school mother. I started working at a fast food restaurant, actually believing that owning my own chain would be a good idea. I would graduate high school with a very low D average, surprising everyone that I actually graduated. I didn't attend college, or even enroll, because "school wasn't my thing and it would be a waste of time". I eventually became roommates in the most trashy part of town with the previous mentioned "burn outs" and the 'coolest guy in the group' would be my baby's father, of whom would've been involved in a shady business and I blindly supported his decisions. And because of all the drugs and alcohol consumed, my child would have many medical issues that we wouldn't be able to afford (attempting) to treat. We would be surviving on food stamps and other government assistance while preaching "our government is trash" even though they're providing me with my miserable life. Adding to the hypocrisy, I would spend my paychecks getting my nails done and buying things I didn't need, all while not providing for my child and skipping out on rent. I somehow became an assistant manager of the fast food restaurant I previously mentioned, despite the fact that I do absolutely nothing productive. And finally, I lost custody of my child because the neighbors (rightfully) called Child Protective Services, the "burn-out-love-of-my-life" would be arrested, and eventually I would be evicted. Depression would obviously raise its head and a bottle of sleeping pills never looked so delicious.

I have a creative imagination, don't I? Obviously a dark twist. My mind wanders and provides vivid details, and in some cases it's a gift. The sad part is, this is a reality for a decent amount of people in the town where I went to high school. Thankfully, I didn't give into peer pressure and follow their pathetic and idiotic recommendations. Aside from having common sense, my mom is a hard-ass and NEVER would've let any of this happen. If it did, she wouldn't have tolerated any of it and sent me to military school or some type of detention center in attempt to scare me straight.

Now bare with me while I toot the hell out of my horn.

I hung out with the good kids. I spent my nights and early mornings at some type of band rehearsal (insert nerd jokes here). Instead of parties, I was at band contests and singing along to soundtracks on the bus-ride home. I very rarely showed up after curfew (not counting all the times I was only minutes late. Traffic, you know?). I NEVER snuck in or out of my house because I knew my mom would kill me. I was a teacher's pet, always did my work, and 99% of the assignments were on time. I was a virgin until the summer after graduation (insert jokes/appraisals here), still with no kids! I did work in a restaurant, but it was to help raise money for my trip/musical tour to Europe. I graduated high school with a 3.6 (maybe 3.7?) GPA. I just finished my third year at my dream school and loving every minute of it; friends, sports events, tailgating, and learning all the things necessary for me to be successful in my field of choice- I'm an Elementary Education Major (insert jokes and "oh you're so brave" comments here). No roommates and no trashy neighborhoods (thank God). As I said before, I don't have a baby so there's no loser baby-daddy (and there won't be one). I will NOT do anything irresponsible during pregnancy- I'm not a terrible human being. No food stamps because I can actually find a decent job to take care of myself, I'm not lazy, or the bottom of the socioeconomic food chain. I also don't claim that our government is trash (insert idiotic, uninformed Republican jokes here). The only time I "treat myself" is for special occasions or when I have the spare funds to do so (and I've only gotten my nails done three times), and the occasional impulse buy isn't necessarily a bad thing. Again, no kids, I'm not irresponsible so I don't skip out on rent, and why would I work in the fast food business, let alone become an assistant manager of one? Honestly. And obviously, I'm still alive and kicking.

I may sound like a spoiled and entitled bitch, and I'll admit to that a little. But at the same time, I've worked SO hard for everything that I have. My parents never handed me anything; I had to earn it; deserve it. Overall, I'm not irresponsible, although I occasionally make stupid decisions- we're allowed a few every once in a while, right? I have common sense and have the ability to make sound decisions, along with being gifted as a pretty good people reader (thanks mom). I can tell which situations and people aren't worth the time and I'm so thankful for that. It has saved me so much trouble and provided me with so many amazing opportunities.


Words can't describe how thankful I am to be the person I am today instead of the person I could've been (at least in the alternate reality I imagined). I'm glad I've had the same goals since I was a kid, and so grateful that I have the mother that I do. She always kept me on the right path and encouraged me to succeed and follow my dreams. I'm glad I have the drive that I do and used my mindset in a positive way.I truly believe my future is bright and full of many opportunities. Only time will tell. As long as I continue following the path that I'm on now, I'll be perfectly fine.

So to my alternate self, I'm glad I didn't give in to peer pressure and live a life that corresponds to those that made unfortunate decisions. I'm glad I'm thriving and working to achieve success. I'm glad I'm not you.

Once again, toot-toot.

JordynL
JordynL

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