This is fun to see happening at a young age: a 5-year-old designs a birthday party where her and her friends pick up trash. Continue Reading →
With China no longer accept recyclable items from recycling programs and companies sometime soon, Japan “may be the first to seize the opportunity.” It is especially environmentally friendlier and cheaper when “mining” electronic wastes. Large amount of minerals are collected at a much cheaper labor cost than actually digging a mine. How much minerals is actually is actually extraordinary. You can read more about it and a solution to China’s blockage in imported recyclables in the link below.
Article: Why Japan Wants Your Junk
Actor and environmentalist Adrian Grenier created a campaign called Strawless in Seattle to eliminate the use of straws. Seattle participated in it, and in September alone, “over 2 million plastic straws were eliminated from the city.” Seattle citizens, 150+ Seattle business, restaurants, and venues participated in it to help reduce the amount of trash from plastic straws.
Since plastic straws are one of the smallest single-use items that we throw away (Americans use over 500 million plastic straws every day), it causes large amount of trash. By convincing people to limit their use of single-use plastics, it would decrease the rate of trash produced. So start going straw-less.
The power of volunteering (during an event or during free hours) can make a huge difference in a community, especially in picking up trash. Below are three articles that describe the positive effect of picking up trash on both a environmentally and community level.
A group of 140 individuals in Ardmore got together to pick up trash in a two-hour span. Towards the end, awards for different categories were given to teams who participate, like “most interesting piece of trash” and “most valuable piece of trash.” For their first annual trash pick-up, the teams managed to make their community cleaner, while still enjoy the experience.
The United volleyball, Keep Laredo Beautiful, and the Longhorns’ volleyball programs teamed up together to clean up the Bartlett Park Soccer Complex on a Sunday. They laid out gravel pathways, planted plants, and picked up trash under four hours. Committing time and effort to make Laredo beautiful for generations to come, while having volunteers learn to give back to the community and respect the environment.
Over 700 volunteers picked up more than 3,000 pounds of trash from the 261 miles of land they covered in under 3 hours. Seventeen sites across the Erie County were cleaned up under that time. The program that they volunteered for is called Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup, which has been going on for fifteen years.
After reading those articles, what can YOU do for your community to make it cleaner?
Have you ever seen an Instagram full of trashy photos? I mean, actual photos of trash that someone has picked up during their walk/hike/run? What started out as casually picking up pieces of trash during walks, turned into a mission of picking up trash for 365 days. Julie Sondecker uses her Instagram to post pictures of her trash finding to encourage people to take part in picking up trash when they go for a walk.
For more information about Julie’s action, visit this link: Austin Woman’s Trashy Instagram Captures Spriti of ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’
What do you do if your town is full of trash, was in the middle of a civil war, and has no support from the government? Do you quit or do you push on? Well for 81 year old Lebanese, Haji Im Nasser, she pushed on till changed happened. People began to volunteer cleaning up the trash, a warehouse was built to manage the trash and to store the sorted through trash, Nasser received a $29,000 grant from UN aid officials in Beirut for her project (a non-profit NGO called Nidaa al-Ard, or Call of the Earth), and the attitude of the people towards the environment changed. Click on the link below for the article:
Fun fact, my mom’s side of the family are born in Lebanon. So reading an article that mentions Lebanon makes me think about my mom’s side of the family.
Lately, I ran across an article in a Christian Science Monitor Weekly magazine (June 19, 2017 version) about Boston’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and how cities are beginning to take the lead in becoming greener, even when the United States was pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Previous attempts have been made by other cities in becoming a zero carbon emission city, but have failed when trying to maintain the progress. Boston is learning the mistakes made by other cities and is understanding them to be able to not repeat them again. More information about this in the link below.
What can you do for your community to be green?
I can relate to the need of changing shoes, whether it is after the sole wears down, when my feet couldn’t fit in them, or when the fabric rips apart. I usually try to make some use out of them without discarding them in the trash, but couldn’t think up a use for all of them. When I try to think of a company that recycles used shoes, I couldn’t think of one, until I read this article: This Company will Refurbish your Used Shoes, Recycle & Create New Pairs for Needy School Kids.
GreenSole is the company that works with used shoes for a cause of providing shoes for people in villages who need them. It was founded by Shriyans Bhandari and Ramesh Dhami, who are athletes in Mumbai. So far, they provided 50,000 shoes to people around the world. If you have a pair of shoes that you want to donate to a company that recycles them, visit the website of GreenSole and follow the steps of donating.
While researching articles on the app Nuzzel to share on Pick’n Run, I came found three articles on individuals and groups of volunteers who pick up trash on beaches, recreation areas, and even on a stretch of road. Each story is interesting in terms of why individuals pick up trash and the positive impacts they have on the environment and people around them from just picking up trash.
6,700+ Volunteers Pick Up 78+ tons of Trash from 146 Miles of Texas Beaches is about an annual event called Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup, which involves volunteers picking up trash at different locations. This year’s event involved 6,772 volunteers, who picked up a total of 156,699 pounds of trash from 28 locations along Texas’s coastline.
Volunteers pick up 4 tons of trash from Fall Creek Recreation Area is about a woman named Jennifer Moss, who led a clean-up crew of 50 volunteers at the Fall Creek Recreational Area, and picked up a total of 4 tons of illegally disposed trash.
This Guy Picks Up Trash on the Side of the Road Just Because is an article recognizing a young man who is picking up trash along a stretch of road in East Bridgewater for no intentional reason except contributing to a good cause that he wants to.
These stories are worth looking into, and possibly inspire you to pick up trash for your park, neighborhood, or beach. It is a simple act that can go on for a life time.
To get a person to take action, you usually need to set an example for them to follow. Elizabeth Gehrman sets an example for people by picking up litter off the streets in Boston wherever she goes. She refers in her article how she is following the footsteps of former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, who has been a one-man cleaning crew during his years (and demonstrates to the public of taking action of picking up litter).
- Article: When it Comes to Litter, Let’s be More Like Mike (Dukakis), by Elizabeth Gehrman, of The Boston Globe
She then later discusses about the amount of roadside litter that has decreased since 1968 (61% was what the nonprofit Keep America Beautiful has calculated), but how there is still about 51.2 billion pieces of litter laying around in parks, walkways, and roads in America. It is up to the individuals to take action of picking up litter to make their location pleasant, or let litter lie around in the public eye.