Associates Join Effort to Clean California’s Beaches

More than 50,000 volunteers attended the recent California Coastal Cleanup Day, helping to bring awareness to how human activity inland can have a negative effect on the oceans and waterways.

Nearly 200 Honda Community Action Team volunteers, associates, retirees, family members and friends joined the statewide effort to clean California’s beaches. Together, volunteers from the City of Torrance, Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce and Honda sifted through a mile and a half of beach at Miramar Park, collecting 270 pounds of trash.

Some odd items found included a canopy, a large piece of rusted sheet metal and a chemical hazmat suit. Honda associate Mitch Morgan collected 57 pounds of trash saying his strategy was to look where no one else was looking.

“I found an area right behind the concession stand and along the ramps,” said Morgan, who brought in two full loads of trash. “My first load was 15 pounds of glass, cans, bottles and plastics, and six pounds of rusted rebar, which is very dangerous.”

Associates turned the day into a beach day, bringing friends and family to join the cleanup effort. Volunteers of all ages were invited to participate. Students were offered school and community service credit for their volunteer hours.

“I’m doing this for my marine biology class,” said 11th grader Kylie, who attended the event with her mother, Jade Mathes, a Company Vehicle Administration associate. “Biology teaches us about fish, the ecosystem and how trash is damaging marine life. By volunteering, I earn three hours towards my biology class project.”

American Honda Motor Co. (AHM) leadership also joined associates on the beach. Over the course of an hour, Acura Vice President and General Manager Jon Ikeda removed plastic, foam and food wrappers from the sand.

“This is my first year participating,” said Ikeda. “My family grew up at this beach, and we use this beach, so I think it’s the right thing to do. The focus of why Honda exists is to make things better, and this is one way to accomplish that. It aligns with our company philosophy, and it feels good.”

For AHM retiree Beatrice Cader, the day was a chance to reconnect with associates.

“It makes me happy to see the familiar faces,” she said. “It’s fun and something to look forward to. I believe in a clean environment, and I love being a part of all the community activities that Honda does.”

In order to support the “Zero Waste Challenge,” associates were encouraged to bring their own gloves and buckets. Volunteers that brought at least 10 plastic grocery bags received a recycled shopping tote.

Coastal Clean Up Day began in 1985 and is the largest volunteer day on the planet. Nearly 1,500 HCAT volunteers have helped clean California’s beaches since Honda began its partnership with the City of Torrance in 2001.

“It’s all about making the community a better place, so it’s an opportunity for associates who use this beach to come out and give back with AHM,” said Alexandra Warnier, manager of Corporate Social Relations at AHM. “As a company that cares about the environment, it’s really important that we’re here with the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce and the community to join together in order to help preserve the environment and marine life.”

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