What do you do when you see trash or litter along roadways and walkways in your neighborhood? Do you pick up other people’s litter? I used to grumble as I passed by random bits of waste on my daily walk and then I’d grumble again the next day when it was still there.
Whose responsibility was it to pick up after those who carelessly discarded trash in the neighborhood? It was MY neighborhood after all, and I was the one that was doing all the grumbling. It didn’t take me long to reason that it was, in fact, my responsibility.
Picking up the littered waste in your neighborhood not only keeps your walkways looking clean and inviting, but your neighbors will probably notice your positive influence on the community and hopefully follow your lead. The bus stop near my house always had lots of litter around it. I picked up all the trash in the area one time and people stopped throwing trash there. It was reasonable enough to assume that people were less ashamed to litter where trash already existed, but once the area was cleaned, people were more careful to keep it clean.
I’m not saying you need to organize a community clean up crew (though that’d be a great initiative!), but a simple walk around your block once in awhile dedicated to picking up litter makes a huge difference. At the very least, when you see that candy wrapper or soda can on the ground, take the extra step, pick it up and discard of it properly.
Remember to always RECYCLE what you can & use common sense caution when picking up things that might be dangerous. Notify an official if you find any hazardous materials for proper disposal. If you don’t regularly get out and walk, it’s a great excuse to go outside (or get the family outside), exercise a little, and meet the people who live around you. You’ll make a difference in your community that you can see everyday.