Who knew that picking up litter could be so fun?
This past weekend I participated in my very first litter pickup. I was not sure what to expect going into it, except that as a new intern for Parish Proud I was in charge of the volunteers at my site and we were going to be picking up litter.
I meticulously planned the night before to make sure I was 100% ready. I woke up with the sun, drank a big cup of coffee, got suited up (in my Parish Proud vest) and checked all the boxes off my list for the day. After arriving at the site, I got equipped with my grabber, gloves, and trash bags and rallied my volunteers into the neighborhood.
At that point, I realized what we were up against. It could have been worse, but there was still litter pretty much everywhere.
It was very interesting going into a neighborhood space, where people want to feel comfortable and proud, and realizing truly how much visual pollution there was. The to-go containers, plastic bags, cigarette butts, and fast food trash were spread out throughout the streets and yards, enough to fill several trash bags.
It really made me think about how I had not paid specific attention to this issue before. You see, litter tends to be something that a lot of people just inevitably block out because it isn’t appealing and doesn’t make you feel good. But once you start paying attention and start caring, you allow yourself to see the scale of the issue.
I know this single experience opened my eyes, and now it won’t take a whole organized litter pickup event to make me want to take a walk and pick up some litter. Mind you, I experienced this motivation in a neighborhood that was not my own, but I felt compelled to extend my field of self out into this space.
This is something everyone can motivate themselves to do.
I mean, we all want to make our home beautiful, right? When you’re walking your dog or going for your evening walk, try to notice the litter in your neighborhood. Take the next step and get a Parish Proud tool kit so you are able to safely pick up that litter.
Small, individual actions can lead to change, so why not go out do some good?