Monday, June 28, 2010
Beach Etiquette 101
July 4th is right around the corner and the summer forecasts are indicating perfect summer-like conditions. Local shores have seen an increase in business with families committed to the stay-cation, thanks to the continuation of the economic conditions).
Although good manners should be practiced all year long, it seems especially important in the heat of the summer. Everyone attempts to take advantage of the weather, knowing that it ends with what seems like the blink of an eye. As the beaches tend to become more congested during prime sunning hours, some important basic beach etiquette tips to help everyone remember how to be a courteous neighbor to others.
1) People go to the beach because of the soothing sounds. Relaxing while listening to the crash of the waves and the call of the seagulls is peaceful and the epitome of summer: screaming children and loud radios are not. According to Quick and Dirty Tips, parents are in charge of their children’s noise level, and I couldn’t agree more. Children can be by the water splashing and having fun, as long as they are supervised, but they should not be where other beach-goers are resting comfortably on their mats, making their tantrums everyone else’s business. The same goes for radios or anything else that might disturb the peace: they are great for you to enjoy but not to impose upon others.
2) The cool ocean breezes are welcome on hot beach days; however, they exacerbate inconsiderate behaviors displayed by some. When shaking out the towel after it has been on the sand, please do it carefully, so as not to scatter the grains in people’s faces unexpectedly.
Smoking is also unwelcome by many. If you must get your nicotine fix, do it away from others, and make sure to dispose of your cigarette butts in the proper receptacle, the sand doesn’t count.
3) Clean up after yourself. As the Etiquette Grrls point out, nobody wants to choose their beach spot and settle in, only to discover it is on top of someone else’s garbage. The Golden Rule states: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done To You: learn it, live it, love it.
4) You make it, you break it. Around the age of 3, kids experiment with building something and knocking it down. If they knock down someone else’s building/sandcastle, it is the perfect opportunity to explain that they don’t like it when other people do it to them. The child, with your assistance, can help rebuild the destroyed sand castle and create version 2.0. This will teach empathy and begin to construct a memory of how to handle a similar situation in the future. And yes, you can be sure that there will be similar situations.
5) Recycle! With the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill still raging out of control and threatening some of the most beautiful beaches, it is extremely important to try and preserve whatever natural resources are left. If we create less waste, our world will be a better place. Here are 2 additional reasons to recycle while on the beach: a) the extra 30 steps to the recycling bin provide additional opportunities for exercise and b) we teach children to do it, so we have to be consistent and model the behavior. Children will never learn to recycle if it is only done sometimes.
Have a great 4th of July weekend and be safe! Don’t forget the sunscreen…