Spring break has zoomed past us. We now inch closer to the end of the semester as we excitedly plan our next wild party or plan our next crazy vacation. Rarely does a college student think about the destruction and hazards they left behind in their spring break vacation spot.

South Padre Island (SPI), the college student’s dream Spring Break spot, is a small town located about four hours from San Antonio. SPI has become one of the most visited spots for spring breakers and for good reason.

SPI has nice tropical weather, clean sandy beaches and is conveniently located in Texas. Now imagine red Solo cups, beer and liquor bottles and other trash scattered all over the beach. Not so nice looking now, right?

Every year, spring break brings in revenue to the small island, but it comes with the price of trashed beaches and chaos. Spring breakers cause harm to the environment when they dump wrappers and drinks anywhere. Without fail, the island ends up changing from a beautiful tropical paradise to a disaster zone. Not only do they trash the environment, but animals have been abused by drunk college students. An Instagram page called totalfratmove asked its followers to post their craziest spring break videos. Some of these videos included a couple of students holding a shark’s mouth open so that they could shot gun a beer can on the shark’s teeth and another video showed a student holding a struggling seagull so that his friends could take a picture of him.

Events like this are unacceptable. Wildlife is innocent and should not be messed with by drunk students that are not thinking about the harm they are causing. Spring break is meant to be a fun time to relax from school, but it should not be a time to stress out the environment and the people that live in the surrounding areas that have become prime spring break spots.

Many cities that have been visited during spring break create action plans for cleaning up their cities before and after the vacation time is over. SPI has several events to clean up the beach after everyone has left. One event took place Mar. 26 and encompassed the help of organizations from surrounding cities that were affected by spring breakers.

Spring breakers need to be more aware of the damage that they are causing to the beautiful environments they have chosen to visit. The spring fun has passed, and future trips are on the horizon for college students. The environment does not have to suffer while you have fun. There can be a compromise. People need to be conscious of the damage they are causing. Trash floats into the ocean, and sea creatures mistake it for food or end up getting stuck in the trash. Take the time to clean up around you, even if the trash is not yours.

Have fun on vacation and party because you have survived another semester of college, but how would you like it if someone came and trashed your dorm room? Take a moment and think about what your partying is doing. The environment and the people that live there will thank you if you do.

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