As I took a walk this afternoon with my kids, I couldn’t help but notice how much garbage could be found along the roadside. As I stopped to pick up the first item, my wife who walks daily said “I usually pick up stuff on the way home.” By the time we reached our school a quarter mile up the road I had a handful of trash and had left plenty of pieces behind. Do we give a hoot anymore?
Being a child of the late 1970’s I remember Woodsy being on every Saturday during cartoons. It seems people today spend more time driving around looking for a good parking space than picking up trash. Over my 17 years as a classroom teacher it has astonished me how much trash can end up on the hallway floor by the end of the day. I ask students to pick it up frequently. The most common retort is “I didn’t drop it!” Well no but somebody did and it needs to be picked up! Our world is covered in trash, If you take a moment you can find it everywhere. Cigarette butts by doorways, plastic bags stuck in trees, bits of paper stuck in the grass.
A friend of mine recently posted this during his recent trip to Bolsa Chica State Beach in California. This is a challenge everyone in the world should take! We should take 10 minutes and pick up trash once a week/month. Think of what a difference this could make on our world! Just think about walking into your school or place of business, what if we stopped staring at cell phones and pick up trash on our way? Eventually we wouldn’t find trash on our short walks. Our youth haven’t heard Woodsy’s message from the 1970’s but they can see it modeled from us everyday!
Since seeing Anthony’s post, I have pick up trash everyday. Usually when walking through a parking lot. This is what I found yesterday in the Dollar General parking lot:
Sure some people stare at me as I pick up trash or pull plastic bags from the trees. Hopefully it inspires others to do the same. Here is the challenge that I hope goes viral:
Pick up trash, Take a picture of what you pick up and post to social media with the hashtag #trash and your commentary about it. Include as many others as you can in this. It could become contagious! Schools could take one period a month to clean their campuses and post pictures to inspire others.
Then maybe every waterway will have a trash wheel like this: