On Monday, May 4th, the Parlor Beauty Squad closed the doors to both salons, and rendezvoused Upstate at Nycak State Park. For the past 4 years, Parlor has partnered with Clean Ocean Action (COA) to educate and take action in keeping our waterways clean and safe, for both marine and human life.
Earth Month is near and dear to Aveda and across the globe, Aveda salons, experience centers, and institutes join together in raising money and awareness for clean water projects in communities that need it most. As detailed in our previous post on Earth Month, we at Parlor hosted bake sales each weekend and sold Light the Way Aveda soy wax candles to raise money for Global Green Grants clean water projects. Together with you, our guests, we raised $2,848.00!
To do our part locally, the Parlor Beauty Squad chooses a beach to clean up at the closing of Earth Month each year. This year, at Nyack State Park, we were joined by COA representative Tory Woods, who taught us about how plastics and household waste are creating dangerously polluted waterways. We learned about the initiative that COA is taking to study the effects of pollution and micro-plastics in marine habitats and ways in which we can make a difference.
The park was beautiful, as was the weather. Families were out enjoying the day on the water. Children and dogs played along the trail and a few fishermen were seen casting their lines out, hoping for a prize catch. The Parlor Beauty Squad gathered around Tory and divided into teams. We were given a clipboard with a form to record what litter we extracted, one bag for garbage, and one bag for recyclables, then set off down the trail to begin our beach clean-up! At first glance, the park and beach didn’t look like it was affected by pollution, but after taking a closer look with discerning eyes, we began to find troubling amounts of hazardous waste had washed onto the rocky shore.
The Parlor Beauty Squad, with help from our families, combed the trail carefully. We overturned rocks, cut fishing line free, reached into scary dark places and removed every piece of trash we could find. Many of the items we found were potentially hazardous to visitors at the beach. Broken glass, rusted fishing hooks, and unsanitary paper waste were all found along the water’s edge. Children and pets played dangerously close to this harmful pollution. Even while simply strolling along the trail, one of our team members became entangled in fishing line and nearly fell down.
In less than half a mile, we filled more than 20 large bags with waste. Many of the items we removed from the beach didn’t seem like they were brought to the park trail, rather had originated from up-river. Pollution from the towns and cities runs off into the river and washes up on shores all along the Hudson, eventually finding its way out to the ocean. At the end of our mission, we gathered and shared what information we collected from the sweep.The recorded data is alarming! Together we picked up over 875 pieces of debris in less than a mile of the trail.Some of the most common items recorded are as follows:
22 Bottle Caps
40 Pieces of Fishing Line
44 Plastic Pieces 48 Pieces of Glass
63 Food and Candy Wrappers
63 Plastic Bags (trash bags, shopping bags, etc…)
93 Pieces of Foam (cups, containers, plates, etc…)
81 Pieces of Paper (cardboard, newspaper, etc…)
and a shocking 206 Cigarette Filters!
Some miscellaneous items found were recorded on the “Roster of Ridiculousness”
A Rubber Ducky, Solar Light, Fake Flower, Doorbell, Frame, Cup of Noodles, Glow Stick, Transmission Cap, and a Frying Pan!
Now, looking at some of these items, one would surely think, “What was someone doing with a rubber ducky and a transmission cap at the beach?” Asking ourselves the same question, we turned to Tory for an answer. We learned that rainfall washes the litter from the streets and into the river, flowing down the Hudson, into the bay, then ocean, and potentially harming marine life and beach goers.
After a few hours of cleaning the beach, the team was hungry! We gathered around park lunch tables and feasted on burritos from Harry’s Burritos in Nyack, a business that had its start in the East Village of Manhattan, just like Parlor! Fresh water was served out of a canteen that Tory brought with her. A lot of people asked us questions about what we were doing at the Park, including the park rangers. All were thrilled to learn about our efforts to keep the Hudson clean and the park rangers asked us to fill out job applications! One of the best things we can do to raise awareness is to be visible and educate whenever possible.
So, how can you help to make a difference? It’s easy! A few quick changes in your day-to-day routine make a huge impact! Switching to plastic-free, reusable drinking bottles is an easy change that makes a big difference in the amount of plastic bottles that wind up in the ocean each year. Making good use of reusable organic cloth shopping bags is another way to keep the use of plastics to a minimum. Also, beware of health and beauty products with micro-plastics. Many textured toothpastes and exfoliating beads in face and body washes are actually filled with harmful micro-plastics. By simply changing the products we use, and making sure trash makes it in the bin and off the streets, we can make a huge impact and prevent pollution of our oceans.
We encourage you, our Parlor Luminaries, to learn more about ways in which you can make a difference and visit www.CleanOceanAction.org to get involved in your community!