Friday, January 28, 2011

Seahawk makes an impact on Wrightsville Beach and across the nation

Think you found a great spot to lay your towel on the beach just to realize that there’s trash peeking out from the sand and shells? Do you just keep walking, ignoring the fact that what was only a nuisance to you is actually a hazard to animals and wildlife on our beaches? Danielle Richardet ‘01, has begun an awareness campaign on the effects of trash, focusing on cigarette butts. Her efforts achieved national recognition and she won the Brita FilterforGood Film Project qualifying for a film to be created and screened during the Sundance Film Festival at the Brita FilterForGood Event.

While at UNCW, Danielle took interest in becoming an avid recycler. During a visit to long-time friend and past college roommate, Danielle and her family met Sara Bayles of “The Daily Ocean Blog”. While on the beach in Santa Monica, Danielle noticed that all of the trashcans had a photo of a palm tree, surf board, and cigarette with the words, “One of these don’t belong here.” Instantly, Danielle was inspired to return home and help clean up Wrightsville Beach.

Beginning August 9, 2010 Danielle, along with her husband and three young children, started taking 20 minute trips to pick up cigarette butts and other trash along various accesses on Wrightsville Beach. Her blog, “It Starts with Me”, reflects the cigarette count and weight of the litter collected each day. Since August, friends and community members have also helped Danielle collect 13,771 cigarette butts in just 39 days from the beach. In her blog, Danielle writes,"... it doesn't really matter whether or not we live at the beach. We go to the beach to be in the ocean... play in the sand... bask in the sun... there's certainly no reason why we (or anyone else) shouldn't want to head out to the beach and make a difference in a place we LOVE so much.”

Danielle is a devoted Seahawk who truly loves our community and beaches. She encourages everyone to do what they can to make a difference, “It’s simple…what we do (or don’t do) has an impact on the world we live in. It starts with me and ripples to you…”

1 comment:

Being Me: Danielle said...

Thank you so much for reaching out to me...

From starting this simple project of 20 minute beach clean ups to entering the film project on a whim and actually winning.... has been one of the greatest experiences ever...

I really appreciate you sharing what I'm doing and I truly hope that people locally (and beyond) are inspired by the film to make a difference in our world :)

With Gratitude,
Danielle