The Unseen Aftermath
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The Unseen Aftermath

How to not be a b*tch to the ocean.

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The Unseen Aftermath
Photo by Maeve Barton

I'm sure most of us have taken a beach vacation and discovered some nasty items along the shore that don't belong there. My time on Fenwick Island was a bit more extreme.

August 2020 fittingly began with a hurricane driving up the east coast bringing mass power outages, and my family was completely unaware there even was a hurricane coming when we took a trip to the beach. To start off the chaos, the entirety of my mom's side of the family was under one roof for an entire week, and that week started off with a power outage that stretched across the east coast the morning of the 3rd.

As my family was arguing over which game to play to pass the time, the wind knocking against the house made the tension all the more terrifying. We watched as the towels and bathing suits we had hung up to dry flew off the porch. The outdoor ceiling fan ceased to be one due to most of the blades braking clean off the motor.

When the rains and rough winds stopped, we were able to go back to the beach, and what I saw would have made anyone upset. It was as though your messy neighbors and their closest friends had taken their weekly trash and scattered it along the shoreline. For some reason, I started feeling guilty for what society is doing to the Earth as a whole, not just the Ocean. I was compelled to start picking it up because I gotta live here too ya know? I always made it a priority to spend some time devoted to cleaning it up every day of my week spent at the beach. Considering most of what I picked up was plastic bags and bottles, I'm going to share some ways everyone can conserve the amount of plastic they use, and not be a b*tch to the ocean.

1. Invest in some Grocery Bags

I cringe just a little bit every time I see Karen rolling out of Wegmans with literally 25 plastic bags full of food. To reduce this amount, multiple cities across the country have taxed or even banned the use of these bags.

To avoid this tax completely, you can buy reusable tote bags at any Walmart or Target, or even order them off Amazon Prime and have them shipped to your house in two days (not sponsored lol). For all you wealthy ladies out there, your big Lululemon bag will work just fine!

2. Reuse your Plastic Bags

If you do have some plastic bags lying around, save them under your sink or cabinet. Use them as trash liners for your wastebasket in the office or your mini trash cans in your bedroom/bathroom. Going away for the weekend and need a bag for your dirty laundry? Repurpose your plastic bag! No need for buying mini trash liners anymore.

3. Stop Buying Plastic Water Bottles

I can't stress this enough: STOP BUYING PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES. Most of the time, it's just tap water guys. If you don't want to drink the same exact water from the sink, get a Brita filter to keep in your refrigerator. One Brita water pitcher may cost more than a pack of water bottles, but here's the thing, you only have to buy it once! Not only to you save money by not buying plastic water bottles every week, you're saving the planet as well. Go you!

4. Recycle

As something they teach you about in the first grade, I'm sure you have heard this term a million times before, but be that as it may, according to a recent National Geographic article, 91% of plastic isn't recycled.

Take the time to wash out your single serving yogurt cups and place them in a recycle bin to promote more recycled material. If you still can't find a use for your plastic bags, some local grocery stores have a recycling dedicated to plastic bags.

5. Use Tupperware

Think about how many plastic sandwich bags you went through every year during your grade school days. A better alternative to aid in keeping your lunch and your leftovers fresh are Tupperware containers. All you have to do is wash them when you're done with them so you can use them again. Please spare the planet from having to deal with your 500 ft. of plastic wrap.


Even though Hurricane Isaias wasn't the most damaging hurricane, it was able to reveal what years and years of carelessness have done to the ocean. Sometimes it takes a natural disaster to uncover the damage done by humanity.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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