Mercury Pro Team member Carter Andrews has done a lot of things in his life. And if you know anything at all about him, you’re well aware that he doesn’t do anything halfway.
So when the celebrated angler and host of “The Obsession of Carter Andrews” television series set out in 2020 to start a grassroots movement to help clean up our oceans, estuaries and inland waterways, an impact was almost a foregone conclusion. Andrews’ idea was and is simple and easy: If every boater and angler picks up just one piece of trash every single time they are in or around the water, it would make a difference in the cleanliness of our shared resources and ensure they will be healthy and usable for generations to come. Andrews started sharing videos and pictures of his #OnePieceADay philosophy with his 35,000 Instagram followers, and the movement was off and running.
The hashtag has since been shared thousands of times on social media. Andrews’ fans post pictures and videos of them snagging trash from their boats or along the bank and tag the posts with #OnePieceADay. Andrews said he frequently gets confirmation of the campaign’s success when he’s recognized in public, and especially out on the water.
“They’ll yell at me and say, ‘I got my one piece,’” he said. “It’s really amazing. Some people just pick up one piece, and other people have shown me the back of a pickup truck full of trash. They’ll say something like, ‘We started with one piece today, but it turned into more.’”
A high school student from Nashville, Tennessee, wrote Andrews recently to tell him that he was basing his senior project on the #OnePieceADay campaign and already had three local organizations committed to supporting him.
The groundswell has also made the logical leap to the woods and other shared outdoor spaces.
“It’s just so easy for us to do,” Andrews said. “If it happens to be out in the woods or on a path that you walk all the time, you don’t want to see that piece of trash the next time you come back. It started out with just the water, and now it’s anywhere you are in the outdoors. Hunters especially have picked it up.”
Mercury has joined Andrews in his efforts to spread the #OnePieceADay message and would like to remind you that Earth Day is April 22, so there’s no better time to get started. Literally, all you have to do is pick up the first piece of trash you see each time you’re on your boat, on the beach or just out for a walk, and then make sure it gets put in a trash can or recycling bin, as appropriate. If you’ve got the time, grab a couple of pieces, and don’t forget to take a quick picture or video to share on your Instagram story and other social media platforms – with the #OnePieceADay hashtag, of course – to help reach even more people.
One item that Andrews sees all too often out on the water is helium balloons. Once released, a balloon will lose its helium in a day or two, often ending up half-full of air, bobbing in the waves.
“I want to tell everybody to think twice before you hand your kid a helium balloon outside,” he said. “Because it’s going to come down somewhere.”
Andrews is leveraging his celebrity to further this cause because he’s incredibly passionate about it. While he’s overjoyed with the traction and momentum the movement has gained so far, Andrews is working hard to achieve the exponential growth that will make #OnePieceADay a natural part of any outdoor experience and in the process effect meaningful change in the way we care for our environment.
“So just imagine if 10 people picked up one piece of trash a day, and then 100 people, then 1,000 people,” he said. “And then if it ever got to where a million people picked up one piece of trash a day – now we're talking.”
The #OnePieceADay movement is now a year old. Check out this video with Carter Andrews to see how far it's come.
You can also follow Carter Andrews on Facebook and Instagram. For more information on “The Obsession of Carter Andrews” TV series, visit theobsessionofcarterandrews.com.