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3 Lessons Learned from my Avalon Vacation
Sustainable Travels

3 Lessons Learned from my Avalon Vacation

As I’m taking 10 glorious days to rejuvenate from my normally hectic schedule, I can’t escape my green observations & habits.  Being green is a part of my lifestyle, and I have “green guilt” if I knowingly do something un-green…  Whether I’m on the beach, in our beachhouse, or going for a run.  In the past few days, I’ve learned some lessons from my new-found friends in Avalon, NJ, I’d like to share:

  • Dispose of waste properly – Be mindful when separating recyclables from trash, and throw out hazardous materials at a proper site.  Avalon beaches were threatened this weekend as medical waste washed ashore.  5 days later, the EPA helicopter was still flying over the beach – not too comforting while trying to take a dip in the ocean.  While most of us are not concerned with throwing out med waste, someone carelessly affected thousands of beach-goers and marine wildlife.  Next time you’re about to throw something out, think of whether it can be recycled or needs to go to a special facility.  (Check back to our blog for local sites in future entries.)
  • Drive a little slower – Save a life. I learned a lesson from our new friend,  a seagull we named M-“Gull” Phelps.  5 of my friends and I “connected” with a huge seagull who tried carrying away our trash from our driveway.  A few minutes later, I saw that M. Gull’s little feet  were caught in a plastic bag and became concerned (My thoughts shot to my previous plastic bag entry.)  Luckily, the plastic bag fell from M.Gull’s feet.  But danger didn’t escape M.Gull… Five minutes later, as we watched, M.Gull stood his ground in the middle of the road staring down a huge white van. Unfortunately, it was the last sight M.Gull would see.  The van didn’t slow down, nor swerve and as a result hit our new seagull friend.  There’s a lesson we learned: slow down, especially in areas heavy with wildlife.
  • Pick up after yourself– again this is especially important in areas inhabited by wildlife.  As I was sitting on the beach reading, I noticed a Mommy Seagull hunting in the ocean for an afternoon snack.  Instead of the fish the seagull was hunting, she found a zip-lock bag with a little bit of sand inside.  I tried going up to the seagull so it would drop the bag, but she flew away with the bag in tow.  I wanted to tell her she had mistaken plastic for food.  If beach-goers had been a little more careful, the baggie wouldn’t end up in the ocean – the little things do add up.

Photo: by Dave Meier

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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