Building community while removing trash
By Keldine Hull
Local community member, Sara Kay, turned frustration into activism and started the Play del Rey Trash Fairies. She was inspired to take matters into her own hands after noticing large amounts of trash spread around during her walk home. In an interview for Mike Bonin’s Neighborhoods First Newsletter, Kay said, “The next morning I was still so annoyed and decided that I could either sit home and stew (or take the ever-popular option of ranting online), or I could just go do something about it.” Kay continued, “As I was picking up the trash I began repeating in my mind ‘this is an act of love, this is an act of love, this is an act of love’ in order to combat the tendency to think unflattering things about the people who threw all the trash on the ground.”
Through her acts of love, Kay developed a deeper connection to her community. “I wanted to share this experience with others, see if together we could create a Playa del Rey that is pristinely clean for visitors and residents alike, and inspire others without lecturing or snark,” Kay explained. “So I started to brainstorm on what would be a fun, consistent, low effort, and big impact way to accomplish this. PDR Trash Fairies was born of a desire for connection, meaning, community, and not sitting around for someone else to solve a problem.”
In addition to PDR Trash Fairies, Kay also runs the community Instagram, @savepdr. Through social media outreach, Kay hopes to promote the Playa del Rey community and share its beauty with others. “At heart, I’m really more of a small-town gal, and Playa del Rey is a small-town vibe in the middle of a big city,” Kay said. “To me that means: people who stop to have sidewalk chats with neighbors, a community that looks out for one another, mom and pop businesses, gathering of neighbors for sunset, and a ‘come as you are’ attitude where everyone is welcome and everyone can contribute their strengths to the beauty of the community.”
For community members who want to learn more about PDR Trash Fairies, email Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org.