This month is International Coastal Cleanup Month, and Scarlet Begonias is set out to make our environment and planet a better place. We caught up with Scarlet, and she gives us an insight and educates us on how to make our world better.
September is International Coastal Cleanup Month. What is the beach cleanup that you’re organizing?
I am organizing my first ever beach cleanup this month, and I am super excited about it! I have rounded up a small group of my friends and colleagues, and we will be cleaning up one of our local beaches in a few days! This event is a collaboration between myself and my friends over at @bajallama, a super awesome clothing company that is already making a difference by using eco-friendly materials and supporting The Ocean CleanUp (a nonprofit organization that helps to rid the ocean of plastic with new technologies). Our event is also being sponsored by one of my other favorite companies, @hydracoco– keeping us hydrated while we are out picking up the beaches! My fellow model and friend @shaylenepase, and my life partner/business partner @finnthehuman8o8 have been helping me get everything organized, and we are really excited to show our planet some love! ️
For this first beach cleanup, we were wary of asking other locals to join us due to concerns about Covid-19 and large gatherings, but we did come up with a few ways for people to participate remotely. If you participate in the clean-up, you are entered into our giveaway for a chance to win a FREE @bajallama button up shirt or t-shirt, and a signed print of Shay & I from one of our recent shoots together! We are asking our friends all over the world to join the movement by grabbing a repurposed plastic shopping bag, and gloves, and cleaning up any area where they see litter. It doesn’t have to be a beach! Anywhere that could use some cleaning, works. To enter this way, send us a picture of the area you’re going to clean, and a selfie of you with your trash bag! Each area/trash bag is one entry. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Or, if you are unable to join by physically cleaning an area, you can be entered into our giveaway by donating to @theoceancleanup. Send a screenshot to the same email- email@example.com! The link to donate is below.
The cutoff for this giveaway has BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL THE 3RD OF OCTOBER!!!! This Saturday! I had a few people ask if we could extend it until the weekend to give a little more time and I said of course!
How important is this to you?
This is SO important to me! Anyone who knows me in real life, or via my Instagram (@scarletbegonias_wildroses) knows that I spend a good deal of my time at the beach, for photoshoots and also to relax! I love the ocean and the beaches, and I feel very strongly about protecting the environment. I plan on organizing beach cleanups regularly every few months, and I really want to continue to build my business around eco-friendly brands that are like minded, and want to help clean our beautiful planet and make a difference, too.
Thank you to everyone who has participated so far! It means so much to me to have your support.
Who is joining you to help out?
Well, we will be attending as part of Team Baja Llama, so of course my friend Sean Kolina, the co-founder of Baja Llama will be there, alongside my boyfriend/partner Finn @finnthehuman8o8, Shaylene Pase (@shaylenepase), Stephen LaTouche (@lala_latouche), Shelby Balmer (@shelby_balmer) and a handful more of our awesome friends who want to show our beaches some LOVE!
What should people be more mindful of when it comes to the planet and our environment?
This is the only planet we’ve got, so we must band together and make a difference to preserve our natural resources! People need to be aware that their actions have consequences. We live in a disposable culture, but our environment is forever. Just because your mommy picked up after you as a child, or a squad of awesome volunteers team together to clean up soiled beaches, does not give anyone clearance to keep living their lives this way. Every cause has an effect, and if more people took just a little more time to redirect their costly, irresponsible tendencies, our beaches, our communities, our entire planet will become a better place to live in now, and for future generations.
How can people help and contribute to your organization?
People can help by participating with the information provided earlier! You can either choose to participate by cleaning up an area, or donating to @theoceancleanup. Also, if you want to participate but can’t do so right now, we will be doing these on a regular basis, so just follow @scarletbegonias_wildroses, @bajallama, and @shaylenepase on Instagram for the latest updates!
What are some things that people can do every day to better the environment?
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Many people need to be re-educated on this crucial lifestyle. Because honestly, just recycling is not enough- especially not when it is done incorrectly. Including non-recyclables in your output can erase all the potential good you thought you were doing by recycling in the first place. In my own city of Orlando, I have experienced a decrease in local recycling drop-off locations as the funding gets cut, and people make matters worse by mistreating and abusing the rules of recycling. This in turn creates an overflow problem at the drop-off receptacles, and that same trash you thought you recycled will potentially just find its way onto our streets, beaches, and the landfill. Recycling right is huge! And, that’s not all!
Reducing our overall plastic footprint is the most important first step. If we cannot minimize the amount we take in, with the potential to reuse and not discard, we will be fighting the losing recycling/trash battle forever. Also, there are many biodegradable alternatives to traditional plastics that are much less permanent and harmful to the planet, and are just as functional- but we are still using traditional plastics because they are cheap and easy, even though they are destroying our planet. We need to take this seriously and commit to using only biodegradable packaging and containers, or reusable ones. Taking time out of our busy lives, doing the small things to try and be responsible and conscientious about the entire cycle, can make big changes in this growing global humanitarian crisis.
Being a model, you have ways to engage people and bring awareness to what you’re involved in. How does your occupation and social media presence play a role in what you’re passionate about?
I think that it is very important to align yourself with causes that really matter to you no matter what your career is. You always have a bigger impact on the world than you think. The way you treat other people and the planet can really make a difference, both for everyone else, and in turn, for you.
That being said, because of my occupation and social media presence, I am determined to use my voice to raise awareness about topics that I think are very important- and saving the environment is one of them. I find that what you put out into the universe, energy wise, comes back to you ten-fold, so I am going to pour my energy towards making a positive impact in this world and promoting a mindset of helping the earth- and helping others. I feel very fortunate to have a platform to do so, because of my career, and I am determined to keep on growing and working hard to expand my reach, and hopefully bring more people together to make a positive difference.
Moving forward, what kind of impact do you want to make on the world?
A positive one! I want to inspire positive change in the world, and inspire other people to care about one another and about our planet. There has been so much sadness and hopelessness in our world, and I want to help other people feel inspired to help and to hope again.
Things that I care about deeply that I would like to advocate for throughout my career/life:
-The environment! We only get one, big bright beautiful earth and we need to keep it clean and healthy! The earth is not just a place for us to exist, it is a complex system of life beyond our comprehension and if we take care of it, it will take care of us. Cleaning up our trash, recycling, and trying to reduce waste/pollution as much as possible are SO important.
-Mental health awareness and normalization of getting therapy/counseling, even when you are feeling mentally stable. It should be as routine as going to the doctor for a checkup- or even MORE regular than that depending on your individual needs. Mental health IS physical health. They are both so important and dependent upon one another.
-Addiction and recovery, as a specific part of mental health awareness. Addicts CAN and DO recover!
-Equality and fairness in our society for every person.
– So many more, I could go on forever.