It comes as no surprise that humanity is trashing its oceans, polluting underwater environments and causing harm to our beaches. As environmental concerns escalate, we are being called to take up the challenge of cleaning up our beaches. Through internet outlets and non-profit companies, awareness continues to spread. There is much that communities can do to help, all it takes is spreading more knowledge and taking some time to care for our marine environments and the earth.

Some social media influencers have used their platforms to promote environmental cleanups and spread concerns. These efforts have not only brought awareness but also the inspiration to others to start the process of cleaning up our oceans. It is amazing to see before and after pictures of beaches. Trash accumulates on shores around the world, entering our waters and threatening marine life. The efforts of people in the media are huge, and their impact is encouraging to those who follow them.

It is important to look at the bigger picture--not just focus on our coastlines close to home. The coastlines across the world are constantly filled with waste. Small acts of beach cleanups have a huge impact on the rest of the environment. Plastic pollution is a leading problem, and the only way to reduce its effects is to mindfully dispose of our trash, use less of it, and clean up the damage we have already done. Organizations like the Surfrider Foundation and Ocean Conservancy fund and create cleanup projects around the coast and other parts of the world. Internationally, organizations have sent out teams to help communities clean up their beaches.

For individuals, it is not hard to volunteer in a beach cleanup. The steps you can take include finding a cleanup location, showing up, and working hard. When you visit a beach, pick up your trash, and maybe even the trash others have left behind. Each small step we take in cleaning up the coastal environment matters.

There are also ways to get involved without actually stepping foot on a beach or a boat. 4Ocean is a company that employs workers to go out and clean up oceans, recycling the plastic and glass collected and making beautifully crafted bracelets. Each bracelet purchased helps to fund the collection of one pound of trash. In total, 4Ocean has collected over 5,000,000 pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines. Not only is the company supplying jobs for people in other countries, but they are using new technologies to clean and recycle the trash in the ocean. 4Ocean has collected trash from 27 countries and is continuing to spread and send teams out to other parts of the world.

If more people get involved in ocean cleanup efforts, and support companies who make ethical and reusable items, we just might see improvements in our coastlines. Big names on the internet should continue to use their platforms for good causes. The biggest and most important drive to cleaning up our oceans is to educate the public, continuing to warn about the danger of plastics and center hearts around the responsibility we have.

The next time you visit a coastline, take notice of the trash around you. Recognize the impact it may have on the beach and beyond. If you have permission, clean it up yourself. We are in charge of the course of the future, and each step we take has a huge impact on generations to come.