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Environ Behav. 2017 Jun;49(5):509-535. doi: 10.1177/0013916516649412. Epub 2016 May 19.

Can Beach Cleans Do More Than Clean-Up Litter? Comparing Beach Cleans to Other Coastal Activities.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK.
2
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, UK.
3
School of Marine Science and Engineering, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK.

Abstract

Coastal visits not only provide psychological benefits but can also contribute to the accumulation of rubbish. Volunteer beach cleans help address this issue, but may only have limited, local impact. Consequently, it is important to study any broader benefits associated with beach cleans. This article examines the well-being and educational value of beach cleans, as well as their impacts on individuals' behavioral intentions. We conducted an experimental study that allocated students (n = 90) to a beach cleaning, rock pooling, or walking activity. All three coastal activities were associated with positive mood and pro-environmental intentions. Beach cleaning and rock pooling were associated with higher marine awareness. The unique impacts of beach cleaning were that they were rated as most meaningful but linked to lower restorativeness ratings of the environment compared with the other activities. This research highlights the interplay between environment and activities, raising questions for future research on the complexities of person-environment interactions.

KEYWORDS:

attention restoration theory; knowledge; marine debris; ocean citizenship; pro-environmental behavior; well-being

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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