Sunday, October 10, 2010

And So I Begin...

My last post detailed my recent excursions that showed me the damage  in my neighborhood but today I did something about it; I got out before 8 this morning and cleaned it all up.  The cleanup only took about 45 minutes and I can back with over 100 empty bottles of alcohol that were scattered all across the field.  I picked up paper and plastic as well that had clung to the native plants but one cactus was a little too much for me and the waste was snug firmly on the thousands of thorns.

I pricked my fingers a dozen times in my first three attempts to free the trash from the cactus but the few pieces I could free snagged into smaller pieces that blew into the breeze.  Unfortunately much of that trash was left on the plant but I will come back with gloves and clippers to free it all from the prickly thorns so the animals don't ingest it and I don't have to see the decorated plant on my morning walk each day.

Of course every single item I picked up is recyclable and the bottles actually will bring me money come tomorrow when the recycling center opens in the morning.  It was a small gesture I made to not just drive by or walk by; but do something about the litter I saw.  We've all sped past litter of Cheeto bags on the side of the road, soda cans, and plastic bags, but so few of us ever bother to stop and pick it up.   I don't like seeing the garbage all over my neighborhood so I clean it up.

Everything I picked up today will be recycled tomorrow morning and the CRV will even give me a little pocket money for my efforts.  A small act is a huge act and every little thing you do matters.

My journey doesn't end today as there are always lots of wildlife that need to be cleaned up and I will be here to do so; feel free to join me here or across the country anytime.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Not On My Planet You're Not

This Earth is all of ours but most of us are destroying it rather than keeping in pristine.

The last three days, during my morning walk, I have noticed plastic bags all over the land stuck in cactus and trees; but the plastic bag has become brittle from the wind and sun so as I try to peel it from the plants, it breaks into tiny pieces or I prick myself endlessly on cactus needles.

I continue to pick up the garbage and put it all into my stroller basket to take it home because I put the waste into my recycling bin to be reused; but today's walk was a new path and I passed by a field of wild plants and at least one hundred small empty glass bottles of liquor.  I realized this place was a hangout where drunks party and discard their fun into the soil.

So with little room left in my stroller to take home, I decided for now to leave all those little glass bottles to take my son home but come back with gloves, trash bags, and sole determination to pick up all the waste in that field, recycle the bottles, and instead of using the CRV cash back to buy more beer like someone must have before me on this lot, I am going to use the money to take my son out to a fun night of football, friends, food, and moral elevation.

I looked at all those bottles of Corona, vodka, Bacardi, and I thought about the ignorance that had been partying here before me and the selfish remains of their foolishness that were left behind.  Why can't we have fun and be responsible at the same time?  Then I remembered alcohol destroys any sense and I doubt this group of drinkers arrived with much to begin with.

One of my latest projects is to start my own non-profit with an environmental responsibility sector to go out in vast areas picking up garbage and recycling with a group of volunteers and businesses in the area to make our areas cleaner and let those who help, keep the money from the bottles and cans they pick up and bring to the recycling center.  They did the work to pick it all up so they should enjoy a little revenue in return.  In this economy, an extra $60 is gas in the tank or a couple bags of groceries to take home.

If you're interested and have a particular area in mind, let me know and we'll work together to get it done.  It starts here in the land around my home but doesn't end here.