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Ok. I will admit. I am not a big “brand” person. There are a bunch of companies I love but none I am married to.

However, that has changed.

Several of my friends had these toys, and with the birth of my son and start of kid toy shopping, I checked this brand out.

And
fell
in
love.

Green Toys are made of 100% recycled materials. They are tough, durable, adorable and require imagination and kid power to make them go- no batteries or lights or annoying songs that you can’t get out of your head. We are talking old school creative power and durability in an awesome array of choices. They are made in the USA and their packaging is recycled cardboard- no plastic, ties or struggle to unwrap and the ink they use is soy based! Look at this array of boy, girl, boy/girl toys they have.

Their website offers a deal if you sign up your email, and when I last visited the site it was free shipping over 49$.

Give them a chance! At least check out their site ūüôā

I will be completely honest with you- my 17 month son is playing with the tugboat at my feet right now!

Here are some of the toys we have, I can vouch for how well they are made! They have gone in the sand, to the beach, in the bath and in the pool.

IMG_4387

Not pictured is: the submarine and sea plane, and my friends have the car carrier, tea set, bucket and shovel and several others.

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First off- thank you. Thank YOU! Thank you all who took time out of their busy day to come out and clean up trash from the Wildwood beaches.

Whatever reason you did it for- just thank you for getting up and DOING something to help our environment.

We live in a digital age today. It is so great for so many things, communication, understanding, learning, exploring and helping. But sometimes it also keeps us inside or at the very least glued to a screen instead of experiencing life for yourself and actually making a change with your own two hands instead of the thumb you are using to click…click…click through contents.

Don’t get me wrong- you can still make a change using your phone or computer!

Call me old fashioned. But I like to do things the old way sometimes ūüôā

57 volunteers came out on a sunny 69 degree day on Poplar Avenue in Wildwood. They hit the sand with bags and gloves and friends and they helped make several blocks of white sand more hospitable and livable for humans and beasts.

Together they collected 18 bags of trash and 14 bags of recyclables.

This years top 5 items found:

184 plastic pieces
159 cigarette filters
124 paper pieces
88 cardboard pieces
74 plastic caps and lids

Every year the top 5 changes and rotates, but one thing that is for certain is that plastic and cigarette filters are not going away, in fact they are multiplying.

One idea that can change that is: If you bring it, take it away!

Since 1985, over 115,800 volunteers have participated and removed
over 5.9 million¬†pieces of debris from New Jersey’s beaches and waterways.

October 21,2017

About the Beach Sweeps

In 1985, COA launched the region‚Äôs first Beach Sweeps program to rid beaches of unsightly and harmful debris.¬† COA’s Beach Sweeps is one of the longest running cleanups of its kind in the world.¬† The program has grown from 75 people at one site in 1985, to over 5,000 volunteers in 2016.¬† Volunteers gather from Raritan to Delaware Bays and along the ocean to clean beaches and waterways, as well as underwater sites.¬† They join as groups (community, school, business, and organization), families, or individuals.¬† Participants collect and record valuable data about debris, which is presented¬†in annual¬†reports and¬†used to advance federal, state, and local programs to reduce litter.

Fish, whales, birds, and other animals often mistake litter for food.   As a result, animals get entangled in or ingest items, such as plastic bags, cigarette filters, and fishing line, with deadly results.  Cigarette filters mimic fish and have been found in the stomachs of birds and larger fish, blocking and affecting their digestion.  Also, the filters are made of plastic fibers and trap carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals that are introduced into animals’ bloodstreams.
Moreover, plastic litter takes a few years to several hundred years to break down, thereby threatening wildlife for decades.  Litter in waterways can also foul boat motors and propellers, resulting in costly repairs.  Finally, littered beaches can ruin a day at the beach.  Garbage slicks and wash-ups close beaches to swimming and are detrimental to tourism and the coastal economy.

Locations!

ATLANTIC COUNTY

  • Atlantic City –¬†
    • Albany Avenue (199 S. Albany Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401)¬†Sponsored by Atlantic City Electric
    • Gardner’s Basin Gardner’s Basin (Park at Gardner’s Basin, 800 North New Hampshire Ave; meet at Public access Caspian Ave and N. Maine Ave.)
  • Longport¬†– 33rd¬†and Atlantic Avenue Beach (Library: 2305 Atlantic Ave. Longport, NJ 08403)
  • Margate –¬†Granville Avenue Beach (Library: 8100 Atlantic Ave. Margate City, NJ 08402 ¬†Sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors¬†
  • Ventnor City¬†– Newport Avenue Beach (Community Building: 6500 Atlantic Ave, Ventor City, NJ 08406
  • Brigantine¬†– 17th St. Beach, South (Brigantine Beach Patrol, 1700 17th Street, Brigantine, NJ 08203

CAPE MAY COUNTY

  • Avalon –¬†32nd Street Beach
  • Cape May¬†
    • Nature Center of Cape May¬†(1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204)¬†(Note-This will be held on Sat. October 14th)
    • 2nd Avenue Beach (Jetty Motel: 2nd Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204)
  • Ocean City¬†– Ocean City Music Pier- Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk (825 Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ 08226)
  • Stone Harbor¬†– 96th Street Beach
  • Wildwood –¬†Poplar Avenue Beach (Groff’s Restaurant – 423 E. Magnolia Avenue, Wildwood, NJ 08260)
  • Wildwood Crest-¬†Centennial Park (Fern and Ocean Ave)
  • Villas –¬†Village Rd. and Bay Drive (meet at the dead end by the beach access)

The first beach clean up of 2017 had a group of 35 dedicated volunteers from the local area and Comcast Cares. The 50 degree, cloudy and rainy day did not deter these folks from collecting 22 bags of trash and 13 bags of recyclables from Poplar Avenue and the surrounding 10 blocks. Some of the weird things found were a full tyvek suit, and a set of sneakers and flip flops. (Seriously no one went back for their shoes?)

Comcast Cares andWildwood Catholic High School were the two groups present.

The top 5 items found were:

1- Plastic caps and lids 245

2-Plastic straws 200

3- Plastic food/candy wrappers 199

4- Plastic pieces 193

5- Cigarette filters 187

and honorable mention goes to Plastic beverage bottles 153

Thank you all for an awesome day!

Wildwood Leader got excellent photos of the volunteers– and here is a pic of what their hard efforts resulted in ūüôā I would say a job well done all!

IMG_5360

 

April 22, Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweeps will be back!

Check out the locations and pre-register, or become a beach captain and start one!

ATLANTIC COUNTY

  • Atlantic City –¬†
    • Albany Avenue (199 S. Albany Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401)
  • Oceanville –¬†Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (800 Great Creek Rd. Oceanville, NJ 08231)
  • Longport¬†– 33rd¬†and Atlantic Avenue Beach (Library: 2305 Atlantic Ave. Longport, NJ 08403 B
  • Margate –¬†Granville Avenue Beach (Library: 8100 Atlantic Ave. Margate City, NJ 08402
  • Ventnor City¬†– Newport Avenue Beach (Community Building: 6500 Atlantic Ave, Ventor City, NJ 08406
  • Brigantine¬†– 17th St. Beach, South (Brigantine Beach Patrol, 1700 17th Street, Brigantine, NJ 08203

CAPE MAY COUNTY

  • Avalon –¬†Meeting at Stone Harbor Site – 96th Street Beach
  • Cape May¬†
    • Nature Center of Cape May¬†(1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204)
    • 2nd Avenue Beach (Jetty Motel: 2nd Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204)
  • Del Haven¬†– Sunray Beach (meeting at Sunray Beach- at the end of N. Delaware Ave, and follow the path to the beach)
  • Ocean City¬†– 6th Street Ocean City Sports & Civic Center at E. 6th Street & Boardwalk
  • Sea Isle City¬†–¬†John F. Kennedy Boulevard¬†Beach
    Clean Up took place Saturday, 9/17 9am-12:30pm
  • Stone Harbor¬†– 96th Street Beach
  • Wildwood –¬†Poplar Avenue Beach (Groff’s Restaurant – 423 E. Magnolia Avenue, Wildwood, NJ 08260)
  • Villas –¬†Village Rd. and Bay Drive (meet at the dead end by the beach access)
    Clean Up took place Saturday, 10/15 9am-12pm

About COA’s beach clean ups and why you should participate:

In 1985, COA launched the region‚Äôs first Beach Sweeps program to rid beaches of unsightly and harmful debris.¬† COA’s Beach Sweeps is one of the longest running cleanups of its kind in the world.¬† The program has grown from 75 people at one site in 1985, to over 5,000 volunteers in 2016.¬† Volunteers gather from Raritan to Delaware Bays and along the ocean to clean beaches and waterways, as well as underwater sites.¬† They join as groups (community, school, business, and organization), families, or individuals.¬† Participants collect and record valuable data about debris, which is presented¬†in annual¬†reports and¬†used to advance federal, state, and local programs to reduce litter.

Fish, whales, birds, and other animals often mistake litter for food.   As a result, animals get entangled in or ingest items, such as plastic bags, cigarette filters, and fishing line, with deadly results.  Cigarette filters mimic fish and have been found in the stomachs of birds and larger fish, blocking and affecting their digestion.  Also, the filters are made of plastic fibers and trap carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals that are introduced into animals’ bloodstreams.
Moreover, plastic litter takes a few years to several hundred years to break down, thereby threatening wildlife for decades.  Litter in waterways can also foul boat motors and propellers, resulting in costly repairs.  Finally, littered beaches can ruin a day at the beach.  Garbage slicks and wash-ups close beaches to swimming and are detrimental to tourism and the coastal economy.

 

I will be honest with you. When you have a baby…you ¬†need stuff. A LOT of stuff. How do you make eco-friendly choices? This is a world I have just started navigating, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you so far!

 

Thrift stores for baby clothes. To be honest…when they are little they aren’t wearing their clothes out at all. Staining them possibly? Sure. But wear and tear? Miniscule. Why buy all new clothes when you can recycle by purchasing used ones? And when you are done with your clothes- you can donate or sell them to thrift stores as well!

Once upon a child and So Precious in HIS sight  are two stores in the NJ area that I love.

Cloth diapers. Ok I know it is a huge commitment, and yes you may think it is a little gross or too much work. Let me be frank with you. Babies, as sweet and adorable as they are…create gross situations frequently. After being baptized in multiple bodily fluids in one day, one HOUR sometimes… I and my husband (who was initially very skeptical) found we didn’t mind the idea one bit. All it is a little extra laundry. You don’t have to use them all time, 24/7 unless you want to. But give them a try! Even using cloth diapers 3-4 days a week or daytime only will reduce the amount of diapers going into landfills and save you money. There are some eco-friendly disposable diapers out there I have tried such as¬†7th generation, that uses¬†sustainably sourced materials.

If you want to try cloth diapers, I recommend Lil Helpers. They have this awesome new customer deal, you get two diapers, free shipping and 35% off. Not to mention when you get this kit, it comes with samples and a handwritten note welcoming you. (Some of the samples were edible…I found myself prepping the diapers for their first wash while snacking on said samples) I also love supporting small business owners, and their website has so much upbeat snarky humor you immediately fall in love with the company.What mom doesn’t need a lil quirky humor on a long day?!

Re Play¬†cups and plates are made from recycled milk jugs, and are super cute and way more durable and for the babies that enjoy throwing things…and banging things…and chewing on things…And I found them at Target!

If you are breast feeding, I recommend washable breast pads. With the amount of them you go through, throwing them away multiple times a day, every day, will make you feel a ¬†little guilty! Throw them in the laundry instead ūüôā Tip: although I like to hang my clothes to dry outside to save energy, using the dryer makes them fluffy and soft, which is definitely something you will want.

Small choices everyday can make a big impact. These are some of my small choices, that will hopefully snowball into a positive impact on our environment! If you have any questions about these products or my experiences with them, feel free to reach out.

My sweet tiny human is currently clamoring for my attention so I will abandon my internet review for some time soaking up his adorable smile ūüôā Be well!

 

The most important thing first- a huge shout out to the 40 people that showed up! I have been doing these clean ocean action beach clean ups since 2008, and in those 8 years this is the first bad weather day we got. 50 degrees and raining made it a lil uncomfortable, but that didn’t stop the 40 awesome volunteers- many who came Wildwood middle and high school and Wildwood Catholic high school.

Together we collected 10 bags of trash and recyclables before the rain and cold got to us.

The top 5 categories were cigarette filters, plastic pieces, food and candy wrappers, shopping bags and paper pieces. The top item found were cigarette filters, of which we found 153!

Here are some pics from the beach clean up. Thank you all for coming out and making a difference, especially on a day that made it hard to get out of bed ūüėČ