I spend a lot of time in my car. I travel throughout our county to visit clients in their homes. I usually have my camera with me. If I have extra time to walk around a park or sit on a bench, I take my camera.
Yesterday I noticed a park that I had heard about last spring but had not had an opportunity to explore. It’s a park that was highlighted on a local radio show. According to the show this park had acres of beautiful flowers during the spring.
Unfortunately I learned this park has not been well cared for. It is in a “sketchy” part of town and by all appearances people set up camp back in the trees. I am not opposed to people setting up residence in the woods. I’m an advocate for the homeless and understand the layers of issues that would need to be resolved to get people out of the woods. What I am opposed to is our city not taking care of land that is its responsibility.
The trash I saw was repulsive. Much of it gathered in a dry creek bed. It appeared to have been washed “down stream” by heavy rains. Since we haven’t had significant rain since May, this trash has remained stagnate for 4 months. This is an accumulation of trash that was washed through the gutters and sewers until it finally landed in this dry creek.
Yesterday, Joanne at My Life Lived Full, posted pictures of trash she noticed in her neighborhood during her morning walk. She posted a total of 4 pieces of trash. I think most people see that one piece of trash, or maybe drop that one piece of trash and think…no big deal…its just one cup. The reality is, each cup, each piece of paper, each nasty diaper (that really sends me over the edge when I see a dirty diaper on the ground.) they add up. Those items get blown to the curb, washed into the sewer system and eventually end up stagnate in a dry creek bed.
Once a friend told me if she accidentally drops a piece of paper and it blows out of her reach, she picks up 2 pieces of paper to make up for it. After visiting the park…I may have to pick up a few dumpsters full!
If we all looked at our world and thought “Leave it better than I found it.” this planet would have a much better chance at surviving us.
I have chased a random piece of paper I intended to only through away halfway across a parking lot – and fail. I like your friend’s idea.
I like to believe that everyone can make a difference. If we all lead by example, perhaps someone may be inspired by our actions.
An excellent post Tree. I hadn’t considered what happens when *stuff* get washed into our sewer systems and ends up in our lakes and rivers. Garbage in general is a serious problem for which there is so little awareness and concern.
Thanks Joanne and thanks for being the catalyst for the post.
When I first visited the park I took a few flower pictures but left immediately because I was disgusted by all the trash.
After reading your post I decided it was imported to shine a light on the problem. So I returned yesterday and took trash pictures.
You may be right….Leading by example may be the best route to take.
There is so much bad stuff going on in the world, I make a concerted effort to focus on the good and beautiful stuff in life.
… but that doesn’t mean I don’t often want to fight back against the crap that I see around me. Ranting that *someone* should do *something* about it, just doesn’t cut it
I used to think that I would look like an idiot – a complete stooge – for picking up someone else’s garbage. Now instead I hope that I’m inspiring someone by my actions.
A stooge you are not! An inspiration you are.
None of us can do everything….but all of us can do something!!
Maddening, isn’t it? I get so angry when I go to the park and find empty snack bags and soda bottles and beer cans and wrappers and yes, dirty diapers. And a trash can not 20 feet away. And cigarette butts – don’t even get me started. And not just the parks but in the ditches and along the roadside and just about everywhere. I don’t understand why some people just don’t care.
I don’t either Sue!
Oh, I LOSE it when I see dropped trash. In Texas, it’s been so ingrained in us since birth: Don’t Mess With Texas. But people do. I sit at stoplights and see piles of cigarettes. I walk my dogs, and I see broken beer bottles and cans in the MIDDLE of the sidewalk. I wouldn’t even spit GUM out. I hold it until I can find a trashcan. What is wrong with people? Last summer, we were in the car with my son, and he finished an apple and just tossed the core out the window. I went ballistic. He said, “It’s biodegradable.” “It’s still trash.” “I’ve seen Dad toss food out the window.” “You’re dad is an idiot.”
I am frequently unnerved at how trashy Texas is.
As proud as Texans are of this state they show little respect for it when it comes to littering.
Thanks for commenting