June 17, 2019

Dear Friend of our Foundation:

We are approaching the final leg of the Great NC Beach Sweep as we exit the ferry boat at Ocracoke, NC. Over the last week we have seen 25 beaches and thoroughly enjoyed our journey north along the NC coast - meeting some truly wonderful people along the way. Most of them are 'like us', concerned for Mother Earth and each trying to do their part .

Except for the carload of women on the ferry. Their big SUV was idling in the parking lot as we queued for the ferry. Then idled while we waited to board the ferry. Now continuing to idle on the ferry - even though the second deck of the ferry has 100+ seats and is air conditioned. I channeled my 'inner Emma' and let them know about the lounge, they seemed content to stay in their little box and waste fuel. Changing this mindset is another challenge.

But we're on this journey to cleanup beaches - and that's what we'll do! 120 miles and 18 beaches until we touch down near the NC border with Virginia - this last stretch is familiar to us as we've vacationed in the Outer Banks (N-OBX) for the past 30 years.

And you can too - if you are lucky enough to spend time at the beach, you are pretty lucky. While charging your batteries, make sure to soak in the sun, air and views along the coast. If you are able, 'imitate' this project and spend about an hour walking the beach with a bag/bucket looking for trash.

We promise you that you will find it, if not on the beach then near the public beach access or along the beach road or highway. Litter is litter and is especially problematic near the coast.

Thanks for following our journey on Social Media - we hope you feel the energy that we are sending out to the universe along the way. Truly a magical journey and fun too!

Much Love to you and remember - YOU are our foundation.

Denise & Michael Munson
'The greatest threat to the planet is the belief that someone else will save it'
- Robert Swan
Beach Cleanups are easy to do - take no time and truly can be an individual effort. No planning (other than to bring a bag!), no fanfare (but you will feel good when you are done) and no reason not to if your summer finds you by the coast.
Just walk along the coast (nearest the dunes is our 'sweet spot') and look down, the litter is there because the tourists are there. Pickup what you find and take it with you. Snap a few pictures of what you find (or your group if not solo) and post to Facebook - use the #EMFBeachCleanup hashtag and make 'public' and 'check-in' to show which beach you are located on. You can do this when you return to the 'real world' if you prefer, but sharing your effort may help others that follow you decide to do the same.
We can do this together, it's time for us to act to show litter (and litterers?) that we're not going to settle for this.

To read a few tips on how to get started, click the below button.

#EMFBeachCleanup Tips
'We need to wake up and fall in love with the earth'
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Litter is a problem everywhere (well maybe not at Walt Disney World) because we have become too dependent upon single use items. Everything is 'individually' wrapped or bottled to allow maximum convenience for our busy lifestyle. But the byproduct of this convenience is more litter/waste which sometimes isn't disposed of properly.

Change will come when we take a few minutes to pre-plan our excursions or every daily work life. Fully embracing reusable water bottles and saying NO (most of the time) to small bottled water is the #1 thing we can do to help cut down on 'bad litter'. Single use plastic bottles will outlive most of us if left to decompose and are clearly not the best option for most of our water needs.

Along our route we've heard about interesting litter tracking efforts from Wes Rider, Ranger Tabitha Bryant (NPS) and others - and are excited to try to see how to help us change our habits.

Along our journey we've resisted single use plastic, opting to filter our water with a Brita, use our Yeti tumbler for drinks, not taking plastic bags at stores and choosing aluminum cans for our other refreshments. We're trying to reduce our reliance on Ziploc bags and other 1-use conveniences, little changes that collectively can have big impact.

It starts with each of us and we are up for the challenge.
'If you build it, he will come'
- Field Of Dreams
When we were at Sunset Beach we were intrigued by a sculpture of a sea turtle filled with plastic bottles. Our dear friend Karen shared a pic and story of Goby, a fish constructed of metal to encourage tourists to deposit their plastic (see story below) responsibly. We're up for whatever it takes to help corral beach litter and want to see how to pull our collective energy to help change the culture of waste near the beach.

And...the cigarette butt issue. At a few beaches we've seen 'butt receptacles' made of PVC pipe near the public beach accesses - which should help. The bigger challenge we have seen are the butts on the beach (cigarette, that is) because they look like 'food' to water fowl - but obviously take so long to decompose and if ingested are nothing but bad.

We have to change our ways.

To read a few tips on how to get started, click the below button.

Meet Goby!
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Our mailing address is:
Emma Munson Foundation, Inc
436 Seventh Avenue, 26th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

+1 (412) 945-7363


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