I have been driving around this city a lot more than usual over the last couple weeks as I prepare for Between the Pipes and every single time, I’ve stopped at least once during my trip to pick up litter. Garbage bags, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, a towel (?) – you name it, I picked it up and put it in its place.
The images from the film Trashed (some of which I posted in this blog post) scare the heck out of me. Watching cardboard boxes tumble down Portage Avenue and seeing plastic bags stuck in the trees in south St. Vital makes me wonder first why they’re there, and second why no one else has stopped to pick them up. I don’t expect every traveller to stop abruptly in the middle of the street to pick up waste – that could get dangerous. I do expect the people around me to care about our environment – if not for me, for themselves. I also do not expect anyone to pick up filth or potentially dangerous waste. Leave that for the pros.
What’s that saying, “find a penny, pick it up…” Same goes for waste. Waste may not have any monetary value but there’s a responsibility attached to it, a sense of satisfaction if you will that you have contributed to a greater good. Think of it as a test. Someone has strategically placed a box, or a bottle directly in your path. You can a – see it and do nothing, or b – pick it up and throw it out/recycle it. Is there a right answer? Of course there is! The one that doesn’t make you look like that guy/gal who stared right at the trash on the ground and didn’t pick it up. PICK UP THE BOTTLE! Don’t get that “shame on you” look from the lady across the street next time you step over or around something you easily could have tossed in the trash or recycling bin.
-Enjoy the ride.