It's April 22nd, and that means it's Earth Day. There's a line between enthusiastically rallying support for proactive and pro-Earth causes for Earth Day and using this day, this one day, to influence long-term positive change. The kind of change we want, the kind that leaves our beaches and our communities in a better state than where they are now or where they were, requires momentum and momentum has to start somewhere. Earth Day to me is similar to traditional beach cleanups- a great start, but perhaps not the answer to long-term change. This sentiment is echoed throughout the world in various campaigns with phrases such as "Every Day is Earth Day" and "Celebrate the Earth Every Day." Whatever the campaign, we stand by the idea that Earth Day is not about today. It's about tomorrow and the tomorrows after that.
The engine that drives the Better Beach Project is fueled by the belief that long-term change is possible and that it comes from the strength in relationships forged within a community. Our approach has been to tap into the power an influence of local businesses within our communities, and we've found that this approach has been successful at raising awareness and actually removing debris and litter from our beaches. The namesake, subject, and focus of this project has been beach oriented. The Better Beach Project is beach oriented because our community is beach oriented. As we have grown, we've discovered that while our efforts in VA Beach are most effective in the water and the sand, the approach could grow roots anywhere.
Wherever you are, whatever kind of place is special to you- you have the ability to impact that place in a positive manner. For us, it was the beach. For you, it might be a lake. A trail. A field. If you have a place that's special to you, it should be protected and maintained. If you don't have a place that's special to you, you should pick a place, maybe somewhere that needs some love, and make it special. All it takes is a little bit of your time. Our time is valuable, but I can assure you that you will not consider this time to be wasted.
The engine that drives the Better Beach Project is fueled by the belief that long-term change is possible and that it comes from the strength in relationships forged within a community. Earth Day is a great opportunity for us to rev that engine. In the weeks, months, and years that follow this Earth Day, I encourage you to not take your foot off the pedal.