The Purple Heels Society is a social club I started about 9 years ago. I had met so many lovely ladies in LA and I wanted to bring them together as friends. They were each unique, socially conscious, eco-friendly and inspiring, so I felt they naturally should be buddies. Hence, our club started. There were 20 back then. Now, I’d say our list of Associates and Members is closer to 100. We span across about 10 major cities globally. But we don’t just get together and socialize, we get together to volunteer! Yep, every time we gather, good things happen. It’s awesome. I’m so thankful for all the people who have supported us over the years by attending fundraisers and giving their time and love to humanity. Many have made lifelong friends and it’s warmed my heart daily for almost a decade now.

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For our latest adventure, three of my fellow Purple Heels and I took my 6-year-old son to Santa Monica Pier for a lesson in beach clean-up. Why Santa Monica Pier? According to Heal the Bay, a non-profit that specializes in beach clean-up efforts along the west coast, it’s one on the Top 10 Beach Bummers in California. Bummer, right? It’s also the closest beach to our house. Extra bummer. So, what do you do when your home is dirty? You clean it up! That was the message we wanted to send. We didn’t need signs. We didn’t want to shove recycling down the tourist’s throat, but we did want to set an example. We also wanted to share with you what we learned about how to be a thoughtful, beach-goer.

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Step One: Only take with you to the beach the bare essentials. Being a minimalist at the beach may be hard for families, but trust me on this! The less you bring the less you have to lug back to the car!!


Step Two: Stash a few of those recycled bags from Ralph’s in your beach bag so you can put your trash in a designated spot as you go.

 Step Three: Pick up all the trash you see in your area before you spread out those beach towels.

Step Four: Go for a stroll on the beach, but bring one of those Ralph’s bags. Like that song your kindergarten teacher taught you: ”If you see a piece of litter, pick it up”…oh wait, maybe you don’t remember it. I kinda forgot too until my kid sang it the other day. Here’s the video to refresh your memory:

(Cute video, huh? I KNOW!)

Step Five: Tie the bags closed so the trash doesn’t blow out while you are chillin’ on the beach.

Step Six: When you pack up, take a scan of your area again and pick up any plastic (yours or not) and put it in the bag too.

Step Seven: Now this one is the kicker! Take ALL the bags WITH YOU! The crazy part of the trash problem with the Santa Monica Pier is that there are so many people now visiting that the bins fill up quick daily. The trash that goes into the overflowing bins blows right back on the beach. Taking it with you will ensure it gets to the right place.

Step Eight: When you get home, sort your trash. Try to recycle as much as you can before putting the rest in your trash can.

Now, I know this sounds simple. It is really. However, there were so many people totally ok with letting that plastic wrapper fly across the sand in the wind today. If I had time to reenact my sad face of when I saw a dirty diaper on the sand…oh wait, I have time.

All in all, we were at the beach for 5 hours. We collected 5 bags of trash. We were only able to recycle 1 out of 5 bags of stuff. Insert sad face. 😔

I saw so many plastic tags from impromptu purchases of food and boogie boards that just made me bummed. So yea, I see why Heal the Bay gave the Pier this rating. On the bright side, my son was inspired. Many people thanked us for taking the time to tidy up. Others watched slightly confused and maybe embarrassed a little but that’s fine. We waved and smiled. I hope it made them wonder, or at the very least, feel guilty about that empty bag of chips rolling like a tumbleweed past them as they sunbathed. One can only hope, right?

Until next time, this country girl in the city will gladly keep showing up in the name of Mother Nature. Here’s a recap of the day. Happy Tuesday, Daily Feelers. Keep it classy.

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