Clean Beaches Start At Home: The Intro

SCH core volunteers with debris removed from Moʻomomi, Molokaʻi in 2019. Photo by Rafael Bergstrom

At Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi, we love cleaning beaches. Over the last 10 years, we've removed over a half a million pounds of debris from Hawaiʻi coastlines with the help of 30,000 volunteers. Beach cleanups are an awesome educational tool and a great way to make an impact, but we should also be working on proactive solutions to eliminate plastic pollution at the source. This is where the Clean Beaches Start At Home Movement comes in. Itʻs a source of inspiration, resource guide, and online community -- for everyone to take action, everywhere.

So what does “clean beaches start at home” mean? It’s the simple idea that if we use less, we’ll find less in the environment. There are a lot of things we can do to be proactive -- like put pressure on companies that are producing plastic products, and push for bills that promote a circular economy. But for now, let’s start with how we can make small shifts, like opting for a reusable water bottle, in our everyday lives to reduce the amount of plastic we consume.

Clean Beaches Start At Home logo by Jessie Hodge. Background photo by Jacob Brighton.

Sign the Pledge.

Sign the pledge to take action and embody the Clean Beaches Start At Home message. You don’t need to overhaul your whole life, but instead commit to making the small necessary shifts. Sustainability isn’t about changing all of your habits overnight -- it’s a practice. Some days you’re on it, and some fill up your whole trash can by lunch time. And that’s ok. We’re not asking you to pledge to be perfect, just to do your best to reduce plastic consumption. By signing the pledge, you will help us track our impact and become part of an email list that gets specific updates related to Clean Beaches Start At Home.

Participate in Challenges.

One thing is for sure, 2020 is throwing us some major challenges. So, we figured we would hop on the bandwagon and come up with some challenges of our own. So, we present to you…#CleanBeachesStartAtHome Challenges. We’re dishing out swaps for you to try out each week this holiday season. Inspiration and rules are all posted on our Instagram and Facebook. You can even hit our ‘Challenges’ story highlight to see what we’ve cooked up so far.

Get SCHooled.

If you’re on this page, you’ve probably experienced times where you are overwhelmed by all there is to learn in the sustainability world. This comes from an overload of information and feeling like sometimes, there isn’t a perfect solution. We’re trying to break down the info so it’s not too much to take in at once. We’ll be sharing educational tools on our media pages to support you on your Clean Beaches Start At Home journey. We hope this makes it easy to understand not only what needs to change, but how to change it. These resources are made by us for everyone, so feel free to share so that everyone can #getSCHooled.


A bitten plastic bottle that washed ashore on Oʻahu. Photo by Jeff Hawe.

And last, but certainly not least, create a big impact by donating. A Netflix subscription is $12.99/month. A dozen malasadas from Leonard’s is $15.60 before tax. The average American spends over $14 on coffee per week. For as little as $1/month, you can contribute to SCH in a big way. Itʻs like picking up plastic -- you might not make the biggest difference alone cleaning up a few pieces here and there. But, when our entire collective contributes, the impact is huge. Our individual donor community steers the growth of our beach cleanup and education programs. Collectively our individual donors were able to help fund some amazing things in 2020 despite the pandemic:

  • The socially-distanced Island Wide Cleanup where we removed debris at over 40 different locations
  • Outdoor education stations, consisting of talk stories, games, and art classes with Ikaika
  • Molokaʻi cleanup mission, where debris was removed from remote coastline via helicopter

Donate what you can, whether itʻs $1/month or $100/year -- it all matters to funding efforts like these. We’ll keep you updated on all the initiatives you are helping us fund, and every month we’ll be raffling off an epic prize to our recurring donors.

We want to create unique ways to connect and share ideas as a collective. This program is for all of us, so itʻs only fitting that we build it together. If you have an idea that you would like to see come to life for Clean Beaches Start At Home, we want to hear it! Send us a DM on social media, or shoot an email over to us at Join the movement and choose how you want to take action, wherever you are in the world. Share what you are doing, and inspire others along the way. Now letʻs get to work. 🤙