I like to get out for a daily walk. Good not only for my physical health, but for my mental health as well. Lately it’s also been good for the planet. I read something recently about the plastics that get into the ocean. Little bits of plastic that wash into the rain sewer system and eventually into the ocean. If we all would just commit to picking up a little bit of plastic from the sidewalks and curbs, the planet would be much healthier.
So in recent weeks I’ve been carrying a bag with me and picking up bits of trash from the sidewalk and the curb. I usually end up with half a pound or so of trash. When I get home, I just tie the bag closed and drop it into my garbage bin.
Sometimes if I pick up a whole lot of stuff and don’t want to carry it all the way home, I sneak it into someone else’s bin and hope they don’t mind, on the theory that it’s better to get it into the garbage system than into the ocean. If someone is out in their yard, I’ll explain I’ve picked up some trash and ask if I can drop it in their bin. They usually say of course and thank you.
What does trash look like? How does one begin to see trash? It’s usually a little glint of light off of a plastic surface a few feet ahead of me that catches my eye. Sometimes it’s an obviously synthetic color amidst the grass or shrubs. Once it was a whole pile of stuff that looked like someone, or maybe two someones, had received some to-go meals, eaten what they wanted, and left the rest on the sidewalk. Maybe they were homeless and didn’t have their own trash bin to put it in. My first thought was, “someone should really pick that up.” And then I realized that someone was me.
So I’m doing my little part for the planet, and getting some exercise for myself as well. I hope this motivates you to do the same.