Trash Walking

disposables, keepers, treasures

An April Trashwalker: Looking back, looking forward

I’ve had some highs and lows this past month, and the above article (flip through to pages 6 and 7 of the link) that I was asked to write for a local magazine was definitely a high!

I’ve carried on with trash walking throughout the winter, but, I have to admit, I was feeling a tad defeated.  Maybe it had something to do with it being a particularly long and cold winter, and with knowing that there was a mountain of litter lurking underneath the snowbanks.  I still picked up trash, and never had a thought of quitting, but I was missing something.  I was missing local involvement, I was missing company. This article and positive responses to it have re-invigorated me, and I’m ready to hit the streets, “guns- a- blazin”, hopefully with some new trash walking friends.

I have new ideas brewing, and have made some neighbourhood connections which I am hoping will have some positive results.  People are asking me about trash walking, and are wanting to help.  People are picking up litter and posting photos to my Facebook page.  I love this! I welcome the help, and I need it.  I can’t do it alone.  There is just too much to do. I finally feel like maybe this is the start of a movement, like maybe people are waking up to a very real problem, and that maybe, together we can make some small changes.

I have a plan in the works to get local businesses on board with a mission to make Port Credit the cleanest neighbourhood in the city of Mississauga, Ontario.  Lofty goal?  Maybe?  Do-able?  Yes, I think so.  I’m taking a chance, a leap of faith, that they will understand my intent. I am armed with letters to go out to local businesses this week, and when I drop them off, I hope to have many fulfilling conversations with business owners. I need to convince them that there is a litter problem here, and that it is within our grasp to turn this around. Wish me luck as I head out to talk to these folks!

On my Facebook page, I continue to share photos of neighbourhood litter as I pick it up, and I share insights and information from other trash walkers in other corners of the world.  Around the world and around the corner, on line and in person, conversations are occurring.
I sometimes feel that in this world, we have lost what it means to have civic pride, to do one’s civic duty.  I see the litter here, and I see photos of litter in England, Thailand, Australia and the USA. The people who are fighting litter in other countries face the same battle we do here. The battle against garbage on the streets, in the rivers, on the shores is only going to be won if we can somehow get to the understanding that we are all accountable. We need to reclaim our civic pride and uphold our civic duty. We need to pick up other people’s litter, and we need to teach them that littering is just not right. We need to hold corporations accountable for the litter that their product generates.  We each need to take action to reduce our reliance on disposability. Whether it is a small step, like refusing single use bags and cups, or a large step, like going completely plastic free, all the steps will add up to a better world. It really is as simple as that.
pleasestoplittering
“Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty”- John D.Rockefeller Jr

April is Earth Month, of course, so it’s only fitting to close this post with the most famous quote from what I consider to be the quintessential book on our duty to the environment. Thank you to Dr. Seuss and The Lorax for these words.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”

Peace,

Cindy

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