Two Hands Project

We were able to get away this weekend for a trip to North Carolina's Outer Banks, or as oh so many vehicles in Virginia proclaim via stickers and vanity plates, "OBX."  The weekend, a quick birthday getaway, celebrated my husband's (29th) birthday! 

While there, we took walks, bike rides, stopped by for some live music, laughed, ate, and relaxed.

We also, despite my years of Buffalo programing, spent time on the beach--in October!  The temperature, a perfect sunny (but low humidity) 85 degrees, invited bike riding and beach walking.   Because it is the off-season for beach-going, we were delighted to have the beach and town area free of thousands of beach goers.  Overall, it was a low-key, relaxing, and rejuvenating way to spend our time.

here is a sign we saw as we came onto the beach--great tips!

While at the ocean, however, we also were reminded of what we can do to be mindful of the effect we (humans) have on our world.  We decided to spend an afternoon working towards ocean pollution progress, with the TWO HANDS PROJECT.

The premise, as you can see on their website, is you can use your two hands, thirty minutes, and a little effort to take action and help contribute to a cleaner, better, safer world.  Their motto even says, "...Anytime, anywhere."  You can help reduce trash, which in turn reduces the likelihood that birds, fish, and sea creatures will ingest or be harmed by these items.  And you can even help in your own neighborhood.

LOOK! we found several shoes, a bathing suit, plastic toys, cups, and ribbons--yuck!
the final haul, after two times--more shoes, bottles, cups, trash, ribbons, a shoe box, and this nasty rope mess

Not only does this make you more aware of what you do with trash and recyclables, but even just consuming products that could potentially end up in the ocean is brought into question...  For example, seeing how many curly ribbons we found tied up in weeds, tide wash up, and the sand, I wouldn't ever bring a balloon onto the beach from this point forward.  Too many people aren't following through and making sure they buy, use, and dispose of things properly.  It might be thoughtful to have a balloon for your child or grandchild's celebration, but if you leave it for an animal to choke on or believe is food, then your celebration intent, in my opinion, is cancelled out.

If you also look at this exercise as a mindful practice--breathing, moving, thinking, reflecting while also using your two hands and time, you just might look forward to using your beach time in this way.  We had such a relaxing time on Saturday that we followed up and did it again on Sunday.

Have you ever helped clean up your neighborhood or vacation area?  How great did it make you feel?

Labels: , ,