Meet Sarah. The lovely mom behind Just1Bag2020. Sarah was raised in the New Forest on the South Coast of England and after travelling all over she ended up settling in a small village in Hertfodshire. She had two children, Poppy, 8 and Toby, 5. Sarah and her family moved from the UK to Cohasset in the Summer of 2018. As she says, they are relatively “newbies” to the area.
The sea. I hadn’t realized how much I missed being by the ocean until we moved here. Listening to the waves will calm my mind on even the craziest of days.
◇ I completely agree. What do you love to do with your kids around town?
Anything that is outdoors. We love riding our bikes to the library or the center of Cohasset, or exploring Wheelright Park. This kept us sane during the first few weeks of lockdown as we could get out into the fresh air, they could expend some energy, and we could get mucky discovering flowing rivers and frogspawn filled ponds.
◇ What is your favorite local fall activity?
Apple picking at CN Smith farms and going to the pumpkin patch in Cohasset. The sheer joy on my kids’ faces as they run around enjoying what nature has to offer is priceless.
◇ That’s sweet. What is the best advice you have received as a mom?
Everything is a phase – the good and the bad. Tantrums, sleepless nights – it’ll all pass, but so will hugs on demand and innocent giggles. Enjoy the good phases as much as possible and know the difficult phases will end and you’ll come through the other side.
◇ Oh wow, love that. So true. I never thought about the hugs on demand. We have to stock up on those while they are little. Is there anything else you’d wish to share with a new mom?
The same thing! You can do this. No matter how hard it seems the phase will end and before you know it’ll you’ll be onto the next one. You’re stronger than you think but it’s also ok to not be strong all the time.
◇ Tell us how Just1Bag2020 came to be.
When we moved to Cohasset there were lots of ups and downs as we navigated our lives as expats. The beach became my sanctuary and taking a bag to pick up any litter I saw relaxed my mind, leaving me feeling like I’d done something productive and positive.
As a family we took a walk on Sandy Beach on New Years Eve 2019 and as usual we picked up litter. My husband, Phil, commented on how different the world would be if everyone took a bag when they went for a walk and just picked up the litter they saw instead of walking on by. We decided to set up a family project and Just1bag2020 was born. Our initial goal was to collect or inspire people to collect 2,020 bags of litter in 2020 and after a slow start we reached that goal by mid-April. We increased our goal to 10,000 bags which we hit in August.
Our goal is now 20,000 bags but more importantly it’s to get more people out there litter picking. We’d love to hit 2,020 collectors joining in.
◇ Incredible. How can more South Shore Families participate?
It’s really easy. If you go for a walk, bike ride, or a run just take a bag with you and pick up any litter you see (use gloves or a litter picker). Take a photo of your bag and post it to your social media with #just1bag2020 or @just1bag2020 and we’ll include you in the count. Then put any of the litter you’ve collected in the bin or recycling so it’s safely out of nature. We’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter so give us a follow!
If you’re a Brownie, Scout or Youth Group leader and would like to do a group litter pick let us know too. The kids love picking up trash!
Living more sustainably to protect our environment is a journey and everyone is at different stages of that journey so it’s difficult to give a one size fits all answer. I think David Attenborough said it best when he said “Don’t waste anything. Don’t waste electricity. Don’t waste food. Don’t waste power. Just treat the world as though it is precious.”
◇ Such a great way to think and live. What is the strangest (most PG) thing you have found while cleaning up?
We found two World War 2 gas masks in the sea at Bare Cove Park. That was pretty cool. Otherwise we once pulled a weird voodoo type doll in a jar out of the Aaron River Reservoir which was creepy!
◇ Ha! The masks, cool and doll, I’d have to agree, quite creepy! Okay, so if we set out on a walk to participate, you mentioned a bag, litter picker or gloves, anything else we must have with us to be fully prepared?
A bag, litter pickers if you have them (or old bbq tongs if you don’t and want to have something between you and the litter), and a pair of gloves. That’s it.
We take two bags – one for general trash and one for recyclables so it’s easier to leave the general trash in a bin when we go by one. If we’ve driven somewhere I also have a bottle of hand sanitizer in the car nowadays to give everyone a squirt after our walk and before our drive home.
◇ No excuses, then. Everyone can and should participate! Anything else you’d love to share?
Thank you! We’re so unbelievably grateful for all the support we’ve had from the South Shore. It’s been amazing to see people really get behind our project and we’re humbled by the online litter picking community we’re now part of. Seeing local children get hands on with their environment at such a young age and learn about their impact on wildlife is brilliant!
Thank you Sarah! This is so great. I hope our readers will do their part and share this amazing project with their families, their children for a better, cleaner world. Be sure to follow along, and please participate! Tag @thesouthshoremoms in your #just1bag2020 post for a chance to win a prize!