Trash Walking

disposables, keepers, treasures

Why I Love Trash Walking at the Beach

on May 29, 2014


I was speaking with a friend this morning, when I dropped my son off at school, and I mentioned that I was going to “my” beach to do a bit of trash walking.  I laughed at how excited I was to be doing this, because, I guess it is a bit weird to want to pick up garbage.  But I haven’t been out to the beach in a week or so, and I do so love to trash walk there, strange as that may seem.  Why?  Here’s why I love to trash walk

1.  It’s kind of zen…walk, bend, pick up, photograph, repeat.  I don’t really think about much of anything when I do it, other than that I am doing it.  My mind is clear, and I am focused on the task at hand.  I’m helping nature, in my own small way.

2.  It’s something I can actually do, with really no planning or permission, or organization required.  I just do it.  I keep a couple of buckets and pairs of work gloves in my trunk at all times (easy, now that the Tonkas are not longer there 🙂 ), so that whenever and wherever I happen to be, I can go for a trash walk.  So simple.  I have attended rallies to protest tar sands expansion in Canada, and to further the cause of protecting our environment.  I even organized one.  Very gratifying to be part of that movement but the results of these actions are yet to be known, and I sometimes need immediate results to keep me hopeful about the big issues. Picking up bits of plastic and garbage, I am able to see what my actions have done.  I can measure and document the results of my actions.  I have raised money for other causes that are dear to my heart, and have felt great about doing that.  I know that others have benefitted from the funds raised, but sometimes, I want to see the benefits.  Trash walking lets me do that.   I have “chalk bombed” messages in my neighbourhood, but I have no way of knowing if anyone read the messages, or if they give them even a second thought.  I hope so, but I just don’t know.  With trash walking, I know.

3.  It gets me outside.  At the beach!  In nature!  Out of the house, away from the computer.  Away from self doubt.  Away from worrying about money, or my family, or my health, or whatever else happens to be on my mind.  Don’t get me wrong, life is good, but we all have our times when we worry about something, right?  The doing something takes me away from the worry.  And, did I mention I am at the beach!  If I ever win “the big one”, I will definitely get myself a little beach house! 

And boy, will that beach be clean!  Today, in about 2 hours I picked up two large bucketfuls of the usual assortment of crap. Small bits of single use plastic and styrofoam, straws, 2 lighters, 2 diapers (REALLY, people?), coffee cups (Timmies.  I am in Canada, after all), water bottles, pens, duct tape (a lot of that today), 2 pair of socks, plastic bags, candy wrappers, food wrappers.  Some of it was definitely litter from park guests, but some came in on the waves, from who knows where. 

4. And finally, I love beach trash walking because I do sometimes, find cool treasures.  Beach glass.  I love beach glass!  I always keep my beach glass.  Image

Mainly, I have green, brown and white, but I am always hopeful of finding a rare pink or blue piece.  I am secretly jealous of my little friend Adam, who found a pink piece of glass on his beach last summer.  Adam is becoming a great trash walker, and it is so cool to hear about him picking up litter when he is out and about with his mom.

A dime.  That’s only ninety cents short of a dollar!  My earnings for the day! 🙂 

A yellow flag on a bamboo pole, with a little bundle containing a flower, a leaf and a nut (chestnut, maybe), carefully wrapped in a scrap of fabric the same colour as the flag.  Part of a religious rite, I am guessing.  Hindu?  If anyone reading this can enlighten me as to the meaning of the flag, please, leave an explanation in the comments, because I really do want to knowImage

So, Trash Walking at the beach was my morning.  And the writing of this was my afternoon.  All in all, a most satisfying day.  I hope that yours, whatever you did with it, was just as great.




9 responses to “Why I Love Trash Walking at the Beach

  1. Christine says:

    My day was nowhere near as peaceful and stress-free, but reading this made me feel happy. Thanks!

  2. RachelT says:

    Adam will be so excited to know he was included in your blog…can’t wait to tell him!

    • cjwild2014 says:

      this is nothing, compared to what some fellow beach cleaners pick up. I follow several FB pages that deal with plastic pollution and litter, and it is truly frightening. There really is no AWAY when it comes to plastic

      • that is frigentening. I recently read about a whale washing up. In the stomach plastic was found. It bothers me that our earth/animals are so affected by the trash we leave behind. Even yesterday I stumbled across a advert with a pelican with its stomach slit open. It said, “if you dont pick it up. they will”

  3. cjwild2014 says:

    Exactly, Lana. I’m going to devote a post soon to referencing several organizations devoted to reducing plastic pollution. It is a real problem, worldwide. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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