Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coke Cap Litter Project

This is my first post on blogger, I will be consolidating $12 Surfboard posts here soon.

Last year I signed the Surfrider Rise Above Plastics pledge.
Since I already used reusable shopping bags, and already thought bottled water was a rip off, I decided to give up my biggest plastic vice: my nearly daily Diet Coke.

Before I signed the pledge I was drinking so much of the stuff that I decided to sign up for Coke's rewards program, I supplemented my own bottle caps with ones that I found on the ground, biking, walking my dog, that sort of thing. After I gave up my daily plastic bottle and its rewards cap, I continued to pick up Coke caps when I found them as litter, I eventually earned enough points for a subscription to Ready Made. That sets the stage for my current project.

For those who don't know, I live on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. I don't want you to think that it's a dirty beach on a regular basis, because usually it isn't. But for some reason, this year, Along with the big winter swells that bring the big waves that Northern California is famous, or infamous for, The Ocean decided it had enough of this plastic crap in it, and decided to spit it back out, all over the shores of my lovely urban home break.

Walking my dog, Dave on the beach, I couldn't bring myself to leave it all there. There was no way I was going to make any kind of appreciable dent in the mess, but I figured it was my opportunity to get at least a little out of The Ocean before it washed back in. I decided I would fill a couple of bags every weekend, that was a couple fewer cubic feet in the already over-saturated ocean.

While doing this, I found probably hundreds of plastic bottle caps. There are probably thousands on the beach right now, and among those were, of course, Coke caps with points codes. So I've started entering the codes on the website and collecting points again. I thought it would be an interesting way for me to track how much litter I'd picked up, and hopefully get something cool in the process. Its a rewards system for picking up litter. I have 48 points so far. Entirely from caps I found washed ashore by winter swells.

The points aren't even a very accurate count of how many Coke caps I've picked up either, some of the caps are so old that they were using a different points system with more digits than the current system and the numbers I enter don't register. Some of the caps are so old that they have no codes on them, and other caps have contests on them that ended years ago. These caps show me just how long this stuff has been floating around out there.

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