When the truly hot weather hits (and it has), sometimes the only thing to do is brave the long subway ride to the beach. We’re dreaming up a breezy little Father’s Day trip oceanside. The make-believe element of this post is mostly relegated to the imaginary scenario of there being such a thing as an effortless day on the beach. In make-believe no one gets sunscreen in their eyes, or face plants into the sand, or drops prized berries into a freshly dug sandcastle moat. In make-believe everyone keeps their sunhat fastened all day long, parents keep their general cool, and there, on the horizon, comes a friendly fellow to refill your glasses of lemonade. In reality, we’re ready to go with our kiddo rash guards and swimsuits, our still mostly fitting sun hats, and a healthy dose of realism about how the adventure might unfold.
Here, a few favorite beach things, make-believe or otherwise:
A reusable swim diaper for the tiniest member of the family.
A set of shovels to dig with.
A collapsible (!) bucket for endless trips to get more water.
Very pretty towels for lounging.
A sturdy tote for hauling everything.
In an effort to ground all of this make-believing in something a bit more down to earth, here are a few things we can do today to help the oceans and each other:
+ For clean beaches: Pick up trash. Join Surfrider Foundation in their dedicated effort to protect and preserve oceans and beaches. The national nonprofit focuses on five main areas: beach access, clean water, coastal preservation, ocean protection, and educating/working with the public to reduce plastic pollution of beaches. Join a local chapter, or start your own! For local folks, Package Free Shop has teamed up with Surfrider Foundation for a clean up trip to Rockaway Beach this Saturday (6/17) in celebration of International Surf Day. More info right this way.
+ For safe swimming: Take swimming lessons. The Swim Strong Foundation’s mission is “to save and change lives through water safety education and teaching swimming skills.” They offer affordable swimming lessons and provide financial assistance to those who need it in order to teach children and adults alike basic swimming skills and water safety. This organization aims to both decrease rates of drowning and to foster a love of swimming. Death by drowning is currently the second leading cause of death for children. Due to systemic racism and historic barring from public water access, African American children drown at a rate three times higher than any other demographic.
+ For clean water: Go topless. The More Ocean, Less Plastic initiative from 5 Gyres Institute runs a #topless4oceans challenge, encouraging consumers/coffee shop regulars to order coffee without the plastic lid, or better yet bring a reusable cup. This is part of their larger #foamfree campaign that takes action at the state level against the use polystyrene products, including plastic coffee cup lids and other styrofoam products. Take a look at the 5 Gyres Institute Action Guide to start the process of banning polystyrene in your school or community.