A 13-Year-Old Inspiring Action on the Pacific Coast

Yesterday, we shared a story from our photographer and friend, Woods Wheatcroft, about the father-daughter coastal cleanup road trip he recently completed with his daughter Della. Today we bring you Della’s thoughts on that same trip.

Often times people seem astonished and almost confused when they hear that I have chosen to pick up trash in my free time. Most look at me, a 13-year-old girl, and associate my interests with different things. I do, however, collect trash and I love it.

I am sure there are many people who pick up garbage for the ‘I am helping the planet’ feeling, and sure, I do it for that reason too, but I enjoy picking up trash for two other reasons. One is that I’m helping clean the ugly ground cover that litters our beaches. The other is that I am turning something ugly into something that might be seen as beautiful: art.

For many, it is very hard to call this ‘nasty garbage’ true art because it is typically seen as something you shouldn’t have around. With the proper effort, intriguing art can be made out of plastic soda bottle caps, aluminum can tabs, and other small bits of plastic and trash found on the beach.

This art might inspire people to do something about the trash they encounter and help them realize the larger problems of littering. It may help people become more aware of the trash they produce in their lives. The idea that I could possibly have an impact and inspire people by making this art is what drives me to do it.

My dad and I have always inspired each other, but on this trip we went out together, we combined our powers and did something that will hopefully inspire more than just the two of us.