I don’t know about you, but climate change scares the living hell out of me. And saddens me all at once. It often feels too overwhelming to want to help and make change on a personal level, community, or on the global scale. I adopted a practice about a year ago on my walks around town that’s helped me feel like I’m making an impact on my neighborhood.
For over a year now, I’ve been collecting trash on my walks. Due to the pandemic, my walks became longer and more frequent. As I strolled around, a podcast humming in my ears, I noticed the same trash in the same places. There were tons of plastic wrappers, styrofoam takeout boxes, and poppers from New Years Eve several months before that. I couldn’t take it anymore. I got myself some gloves and never looked back.
I use old shopping bags to collect my rotten loot, along with a sturdy trash picker-upper which can be bought at Walmart for less than $10.
You may be thinking, “But, Maegan, that’s disgusting!” And you’d be 100% correct. Most of the time, it’s not bad. Okay, except the time I cleaned the bus stop seat and found two paper towels placed neatly on a large pile of poop. Human poop, I’m pretty sure. Buuut that was just one time in the year and a half. I feel obligated to give a full picture.
If I didn’t pick it up, it would literally lay there for months, if not years. That does not sit well with me at all. I now feel like I’m doing something fulfilling besides getting some fresh air and walking the dogs. Want that too? Get a pair of gloves that you can wash and rewash, a receptacle of some kind, and a Gopher and give it a whirl!
Also, I recommend bringing hand sanitizer and/or hand wipes, just in case.
What small changes have you made to your routine to help preserve our environment? What can you see yourself implementing?
P.S. You don’t have to get the gear for this. Maybe your thing is picking up trash that’s blown out of a trash can. That is helpful and makes an impact with less equipment. Do this if it suits you!