Taking a beach cleanup a step farther than the landfill, Surfrider Humboldt recently partnered with local jewelry designer and surfer, Hannah Millner, to literally transform trash into treasure. Millner is the owner and designer of Sea to Seed, her hand-made jewelry company out of Blue Lake California. She has recently been experimenting with incorporating beach trash into her pieces, and a cleanup with Surfrider presented a perfect way to source materials while enjoying a day at the beach.
The cleanup took place on Saturday June 8th, in celebration of World Oceans Day. During the event volunteers picked up all trash in sight, but took extra notice of items that might be usable for jewelry. In the end, several pieces of rubber, rope, and micro plastics were found worthy of taking on a new life. In addition, volunteers rid the beach of hundreds of nails, shards of glass, plastic cups, beer bottles, and tin cans. Millner then set to work, creating a special edition “beach trash” line, from which a portion of the proceeds will go back to Surfrider Humboldt.
“I can only hope we can find more innovative ways to repurpose the plastic and waste that is already here, and furthermore reduce our use all together. Until then, I hope to keep finding ways to make earrings, for you to wear proudly and use as a little daily reminder of how long this stuff really lasts,” said Millner. “Upcycling the beach trash I’ve found has allowed me to donate to incredible organizations like Surfrider who are working tirelessly to rid the ocean of plastic and educate children and adults across the globe!”
Speaking of beach cleanups, we’re rapidly approaching July 5th— known as the dirtiest beach day of the year in the United States, following Independence Day celebrations. Here at the Surfrider Foundation, this day has long been known as “The Morning After,” when volunteers remove incredible amounts of red and blue single-use plastic cups, food packaging waste, abandoned toys and clothing, fireworks and cigarette butts from beaches nationwide.
This year, REEF is raising awareness around this phenomenon to remind us that it’s up to each and every one of us to protect our ocean, waves and beaches from plastic with a year-round, collective effort.
For every post of one of these images using #RestoreYourShore on Facebook or Instagram, REEF will donate $5 to the Surfrider Foundation to support the Better Beach Alliance. All you have to do is post one of these images with #RestoreYourShore before July 5th at 11:59pm PST, and REEF will donate on your behalf!
Let’s remember, it’s on ALL OF US to protect our ocean and beaches from plastic year-round.