We had the good fortune of connecting with Kiki D. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kiki, what principle do you value most?
Sustainability, waste reduction, and spreading eco-awareness are the core values behind our beach and reef cleanup initiative. The three of us came together as friends because of our shared love of SCUBA diving and the ocean (we met through SCUBA Network Deerfield Beach)- we created the Trashy Girls Collective because of what we witness and find while on our dives. We have an epic trash problem! Bringing people together on our beach cleanups raises awareness not only with the volunteers, but also the beach goers seeing us collecting trash and debris. On any given beach in South Florida, you will find pieces of plastic in the sand- a lot of it is coming from the ocean, not just visitors of the beach. We need to reduce our waste by not being a consumer of single-use items, and actively use reusable items such as reusable bags and reusable bottles/tumblers- every little bit counts! Being a conscious and sustainable consumer is the only way we can reduce this ever-growing trash problem, along with leaving every place better than you found it!

What should our readers know about your business?
The Trashy Girls Collective was started in April of 2019 as an official way to spread awareness together about the pollution in and around our waterways. The three of us (Bess, Kristina and I) were all separately doing our part in lots of different ways, such as collecting trash on our dives and when we would walk the beach with our dogs, and when we came together it was empowering not only for us, but for everyone who supports us as well. We had no idea just how much support we would gain just by simply throwing together an Instagram account and Facebook page! The most surprising part is about how much support we get in-person and has very little to do with our social media outlets- word of mouth still works! The best part about people who come on our cleanups, and support us from all over the world, is the fact that a change is being made. Whether it be a physical change in the environment, or a change of perspective- it’s a huge impact. We’ve toyed with the idea a few times of becoming a non-profit so we can spread our reach even further and offer internships and college credits, but we’re not quite there yet- possibly in the near future! The message still remains the same: All this trash can’t clean itself, so we all have to contribute, no matter how small or big your actions are- every plastic bag you don’t use, every avoided plastic water bottle, every straw you skip, every piece of trash you pick up, IT ALL COUNTS!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Besides going SCUBA diving anywhere between Jupiter to the Keys, one of our favorite places we bring our non-local friends to is Flamingo Gardens in Davie! We love not only walking the grounds and being surrounded by tropical plants (and a whole lotta birds), but also the fact that it’s a wildlife sanctuary full of rescued animals. Another place we have spent hours at is the Frost Museum of Science in Miami- they have such amazing aquariums, and host amazing events!

For drinks, and sometimes a comedy show, we hit up Park & Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, which is also close by to our favorite ocean-friendly bar and restaurant, The Parrot Lounge.

Our favorite coffee shop is The Alchemist Cafe in Wilton Manors, which is right next to Red Pearl Yoga (Bess’s absolute favorite), and down the street from the amazing Rosie’s Bar and Grill- they have the best atmosphere, and killer outdoor space.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The other co-founders of the Trashy Girls Collective definitely deserve a huge shoutout- Thank you Bess and Kristina! Along with our amazing partners who support our trashy endeavors. Lots of gratitude for The Parrot Lounge in FTL for the hundreds of beach cleanups, and our friend Tally for bringing us together. And of course, thank you SCUBA Network for supporting our diving cleanups and growing our amazing SCUBA family!

Website: floridadivelife.com

Instagram: @trashygirlscollective

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trashygirlscollective/

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