GOOD Instructions: Enjoying the Beach—Without Ruining It

Show the beach some love by remembering these tips to keep it clean and beautiful.

Summer is almost here, which means many of us will be beach-bound. Before you slip into your swim suit and pack up the station wagon, however, we have some important reminders. Last year, the Ocean Conservancy organized it's 26th annual International Coastal Cleanup—an enduring effort worth celebrating, but also a little depressing if you consider why it's even necessary. The reason, of course: We're a messy bunch. Last year, almost half a million people collected 10.2 million pieces of debris worldwide—about 15 pounds of junk each. And before you blame ocean pollution, consider this: About 64 percent of the debris came from land-based activities like beach trips, recreation, and picnics. With that in mind, here are a few easy ways to enjoy the beach this summer without contributing to the problem.
Carpool or ride your bike to the beach. Quite often parking and traffic at the beach can be a headache, so try to ride your bike, take a train, or walk. If it's too far, carpool with your friends to reduce pollution and save on gas and money.
Go to the library. Of the many relaxing things to do at the beach, reading a book or magazine is one of the most popular. Check out a book or magazine from the library instead of buying a new one.
Pick up after yourself and others. Between the kids running around and the wind blowing, it's easy to lose track of things and leave behind trash. So be sure to be thorough in your cleanup. Bring a separate bag for your waste in case there isn't a trash or recycling bin available. If you see another person leave behind garbage, do mother nature a favor and pick it up
Go solar. If it's in the budget, go for a solar mp3 player. You can use the sunshine to power and play your favorite music while also reducing your use of batteries and electricity. If you can't spring for the solar player, start with rechargeable batteries for your portable radio.
Hydrate with a reusable bottle. Bring your own water, juice, or soda. Stainless-steel water bottles will keep your liquids cold. For a party or large group, put your beverage into a large container and bring reusable cups for everyone to fill.
Use reusable dinnerware. Bringing disposable items may make a picnic or a trip to the beach convenient, but it's not convenient for the planet. Opt instead for lightweight plastic dinnerware that can be used, washed, and reused for years to come. These are great for parties at home too.
Carry a reusable bag or cooler. Bring your lunch, blanket, dinnerware, radio, sunscreen, and book in a reusable clothe tote or cooler. Avoid styrofoam coolers and plastic or paper bags. Of the 10 million plus pieces of debris collected last year during the coastal cleanup, over 66 percent were plastic bags, food wrappers and containers, caps, cups, lids, straws, forks, knives, spoons, plates, paper bags, and beverage bottles.
Don't smoke at the beach (or ideally, at all). Almost 2.2 million pieces of the debris found in the coastal cleanup last year were cigarettes and cigarette filters. That's over 21 percent of all the debris collected.
Choose chemical-free sunscreen. The chemicals in many suntan lotions are harmful to you as well as the environment. While swimming and playing, sunscreen comes off leaving behind it's ingredients in the water and on the ground. (Check out the Environmental Working Group's 2010 Sunscreen Guide for some suggestions.)

Grill with gas. This has been an ongoing debate for many, but according to the Environmental Impact Assessment Review, grilling with gas is better for the environment than using charcoal. The review states that the overall footprint of charcoal is almost three times that of propane. Charcoal's production is not efficient and it's also a contributor of "black carbon" which is a soot that floats in the upper atmosphere and to the arctic where it absorbs heat from the sun and melts the ice upon which it settles. So, this Fourth of July, opt for a propane grill as the greener choice.

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The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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