Jason Hyde

From picking up trash in the beach to non profit organization founder

“I can’t stand picking up other people’s trash, but leaving it in nature is even worse.” Sophie Ringel, founder of CleanMiamiBeach.org

had to say when asked about her motivation for creating this non-profit organization. When in need of some positivism and encouragement to keep helping the planet, Sophie is where to look. Full of life, genuine and grounded, Sophie shared her story, and how she started one day picking up trash, only to turn it into this every weekend beach clean-up, with hundreds of participants. Let’s face it, we all love the beach, and I’m sure that almost all of us have encountered with a plastic bottle, cup, straw, or even a cigarette butt in the sand next to us.at.

We asked her how many people does it take to clean a beach?, Sophie answered gracefully, just 1. When you come to think of it, its true! We could all do what she did when starting this organization, she went to the beach after work one day, and found herself surrounded with what it led to be mountains of trash, having some time in her hands she decided to pick up some of the things she found while walking and the very first day she was already joined by another stranger who saw her and decided to do the same. Soon there were hundreds of them getting together and cleaning up the beach.

Can you even imagine what 8,000 pounds of trash look like? This is the amount collected by CleanMiamiBeach thus far. It starts with simple things, Sophie says, like plastic bottles. Did you know that 25% of the water in water bottles is tap water? So, if 1 person consumes 5 plastic water bottles a day, that’s 35 plastic water bottles a week which is 140 plastic water bottles a month, and that makes over 1500 plastic water bottles a year, JUST ONE PERSON!!! Now, you just read “plastic water bottles” quite a few times, instead of reading it, imagine seeing them on the beach, the street and any other public place where they end up. Companies wants us to believe that all of these products get recycled, but in reality, they are not. To learn more about what goes on with plastic and its useful life, check out Sophie’s movie recommendation: The Life of plastic and why single use plastics should be stopped from being consumed. “The life of a plastic bag is 12 seconds, but they stay with us for thousands of years”.

Wild life doesn’t know plastic from food, so this end up in their stomachs and eventually our plates. Fish eat fish, right? and humans eat fish, but fish are eating plastic now. So, come to think about it, what are YOU really eating? “It has already made it into our salt, recent reports say that we eat 5 grams of plastic each single week, this is the equivalent to a credit card, and this is a sad truth”.

For the full podcast you can get it on our YouTube channel, and be sure to keep an eye for more to come. Lastly I want to leave you with the analogy we heard all week of how ocean pollution can come to an end, in Sophie’s words: “Your bathtub is overfloating, but the tab is running full, you don’t just mop the floor, you turn off the tab”. This means that it doesn’t matter how many beaches we clean, as long as companies keep producing the amount of single use plastics they do, we won’t ever succeed. This is why Jason Hyde invites you to stop moping, and work with us and CleanMiamiBeach.org to find a way to close this tab! Remember, there’s NO TIME TO WASTE.
For more information on events you can go to: www.cleanmiamibeach.org and donate to the cause!

Back to list