Take a walk…go. Right Now. Leave your phone or put it in your pocket, but leave it somewhere that will leave both your hands, eyes, and mind unfettered by texts, calls, app alerts etc. Walking itself is a great and gentle exercise that easily includes people of all ages and abilities. So no excuses on it being to hard or not inclusive enough. As you step out into the air and let the sun light hit your face and you realize things outside of the internet exist, take some steps along your street. Take it all in. Now look down. I will take a gamble that within 5 feet of you probably is some trash that has made its way to the world.
All of us are guilty of walking around through many parts of life with blinders on. It’s time to take those blinders off and walk with purpose. Recently, my partner and I volunteered and went on a trash pickup with our local Surfrider chapter. I was amazed at what we picked up in only a couple blocks in the city and in a very short amount of time. This one experience volunteering with other like minded individuals making a small difference in the world inspired us both.
We started looking around at our own neighborhood. Living in the suburbs you typically don’t think of litter as an issue, but as we walked around our neighborhood we realized it was not litter free. We promptly got a bucket and invested in some grabbers so we could pick things up without needing to bend over constantly or touch questionable items.
It’s becoming part of our daily walks with the dogs. One of us walks the dogs and the other is on litter duty. We trade off and so far we have not had a walk that hasn’t impacted others in some way. We have had numerous thanks and nods of appreciation and approval.
I know putting litter in a garbage bin that eventually goes to a land fill is not the end all solution, but perhaps it means one less cigarette butt making its way into the waterways where it poisons the water and helps manage the waste and contamination of plastics that are quickly ruining our world. My hope is that my walks inspire others to become more awake and aware of the litter and maybe just maybe make the earth a little cleaner for all to enjoy.