Reducing Trash on Vacation
By: Angel Kontra
Ocean City (OC) becomes a hub of activity during the summer months. Population in the area surges from 7,000 to as many as 300,000. The beach becomes dotted with people swimming in the ocean, catching the sun’s rays and playing in the sand. Fishing boats and dining cruises leave the docks lining the Coastal Bays.
With more people spending time outside in Ocean City’s waterways and beaches, it is important to mitigate negative environmental impacts.
Here are some steps to take to ensure only footprints are left behind.
1. Reduce single use plastics: purchase reusable water bottles and coffee cups, bring cloth bags to carry purchased items and opt out of using straws when possible. This will ensure more trash isn’t created, stopping it at the source.
2. Ensure vacation products are reusable, compostable, or recyclable: The Recycling Partnership organization recommends these products to ensure a greener summer season.
3. Think green when shopping: The EPA recommends thinking critically about purchases. Consider if the purchase is needed or if the company making the products practices environmental stewardship or consciousness.
4. Borrow, rent, or share vacation items: The EPA recommends these practices for infrequently used items. If you don’t have your own beach chairs, boogie boards or sand toys, try seeing if a neighbor, friend or other family member could loan them to you. There are also plenty of places in Ocean City to rent vacation equipment for either the day or for the length of your stay. Look for a wooden beach box next to the dunes!
5. Locate public places to properly discard trash: The Recycling Partnership recommends when you must throw something away, you know where you can dispose of it, so it doesn’t become litter. Ocean City has trash cans across the boardwalk and on the beaches for waste disposal, as well as cigarette butt huts and reusable ashtrays from the Green Team.
The Green Team is a committee within the Town of Ocean City. This group consists of individuals that are focused on protecting the resources of the community. They also work to gather information on the specific actions outlined in the Sustainable Maryland Certified Program to get Ocean City Certified Sustainable! To learn more about their efforts, including the Litter Free OC campaign, please visit: www.oceancity.green.