Blogger Beach Cleanup: A Major Success & Inspiration

On Saturday, over 5,000 groups from around the world gathered for the International Day of Climate Action in an effort to bring attention to the Copenhagen Climate Talks ,scheduled for December when the Kyoto Treaty will be replaced (big question, will the U.S. sign it?).

At issue and of importance is the number 350. That's 350 parts per million, the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our air. Anything above that is considered a runway for danger and guess what, we're at 387.

No, that doesn't mean boom, we're dead (obviously). Author Bill Mckibben likens it to going to the doctor. "We're like the patient that goes to the doctor and learns he's overweight, or his cholesterol is too high. He doesn't die immediately—but until he changes his lifestyle and gets back down to the safe' zone, he's at more risk for heart attack or stroke," Mckibben's 350 website explains. The planet is in its danger zone because we've poured too much carbon into the atmosphere, and we're starting to see signs of real trouble: melting ice caps, rapidly spreading drought. We need to scramble back as quickly as we can to safety."

As part of Saturday's event, two local environmental bloggers put together a catchy and fun project called the Blogger Beach Cleanup. The concept? Go to the Santa Monica Beach between lifeguard stations 26 and 27 and see how much you can pick up in 20 minutes. The start time was 4:20 p.m. 120 people showed up and 40 pounds was collected.

Behind the project was Siel of green LA girl and Sara Bayles of The Daily Ocean. Bayles had committed to 365 non-consecutive days of beach cleanup. She wanted to see how much trash one person could pick up in a year's time by only spending 20 minutes each day. When the International Day of Climate Action was announced, it only made sense to combine her project with it.

40 pounds of trash is a lot (and helpful), but the event's focus was to really bring 350 and Copenhagen to a broader audience of other bloggers and readers. Leading up to December, expect more events, more action and even some civil disobedience and arrests over the issue.