Jim and I try to take a daily walk around our neighborhood. It’s partly for exercise and partly for reconnecting. On these walks we often see trash. In the spirit of both ecology and multi-tasking I figured why not pick up the cans, bottles, and paper we passed. It didn’t take long to realize that this virtuous idea was both slowing down our walk and resulted in more than we could carry in two hands. The fact that all that stooping was probably good exercise didn’t offset the interruption to our walking rhythm.

The solution we compromised on was to take a bag with us and only pick up cans and plastic or glass bottles. (The paper litter and plastic bags would have to wait for other energetic souls. Watch the short mockumenary, The Majestic Plastic Bag for motivation.) Alas, since our community has curbside recycling that takes almost all plastics, glass, metal, and paper, it’s hard to understand why there’s anything to pick up.

We have several unscientific conclusions as a result of our experience:

  1. There is appreciably less trash in the very cold weather. (Perhaps it’s because people aren’t standing around outside.)
  2. There is more trash around schools (our route passes two), bars (we pass one neighborhood bar), and railroad tracks. (We cross tracks in two places.)

Now I will make my one-time rant about bottled water. I suppose it’s better to drink bottled water than bottled pop, BUT it’s generally unnecessary since municipal water is as clean or cleaner, way cheaper, and doesn’t create as much pollution in its creation or disposal. OK! I’ve said it. I won’t continue to harp on this – other than the “Bottle Free Zone” sign I have on our front and back doors. So there! Use a reusable water bottle.