Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Community service and litter pick up

Now that I'm getting settled into my new neighborhood, I've taken on a few challenges to not only connect with my community but to give back what I can based on my own background, skills and interests. I'll discuss all that I'm doing over the next few posts.

Sunday garbage walk
One thing we've been doing over the last several months is a bimonthly Sunday morning garbage pickup walk. Since we live in a town that is heavily visited by tourists, hosts a lot of events and has several profile bars and saloons in the area, we tend to get a lot of late night littering. It's pretty unfortunate, but a lot more manageable than the trash piles in Seattle after a Saturday night.

So, every other Sunday (or thereabouts) when we head out on our walk with the dogs, we pick up all the garbage we run across. Dan mostly does all the picking up (rather than me) because he has an inordinate amount of energy and a much less finicky back than I do.

Up all night to get lucky
This last weekend, we picked up two large garbage bags full of mostly beer cans, bottles and miscellaneous other junk (apparently mini bottles of fireball are a crowd pleaser). We empty the garbage in city garbage cans as we pass by, refilling as we go along. Dan started bringing disposable gloves to keep the ick factor down.

Case in point was the pair of underwear we found in the alley behind the main street restaurants. Someone either had a lucky or very unlucky Saturday night!

It's actually quite amazing what a huge difference spending an hour picking up garbage in a small town can make. Dan used to do the same thing in the Ballard area of Seattle, but it hardly made a dent. Which is why doing it here is so satisfying especially since it takes so little effort.

He gets all the credit for this! I'm really just along for the ride, pointing out what I spot and providing some encouragement (although I'm the one who needs it when faced by angry dogs in alleyways). But I do get the satisfaction of helping keep our small town looking well cared by pitching in and helping as a supplement to what the city does to keep it clean!


String Theory said...

We have paid recycling for bottles and cans. You'd be making a side hustle if you had it there!

El Gaucho said...

Excellent, well done! You're making the world a better, slightly less trashy place. This is also the kind of local effort that can inspire others. Maybe more people will follow your lead pick up trash too, or start a movement to encourage visitors to leave less trash in the first place?! Magic can happen when people see that members of their community care.

Unknown said...

As an old recycling manager at the University of Arizona, I recommend being very careful about glass, sharp metal and syringes (ugh). Good to wear heavy gloves and watch out. Do you have one of those picker-upers?

Crunchy Chicken said...

@String Theory - No kidding! Sadly there's no recycling for glass bottles in this county, but we really should start separating aluminum cans for recycling.

@El Gaucho - Thanks! We've had a number of people thank us for what we are doing. Hopefully it will inspire people to at least pick up the random bottle here and there, if not reconsider what they are doing with their own garbage.

@Unknown - We avoid anything remotely dangerous, but so far we haven't run across any broken glass, metal and no syringes (thankfully).