Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lady Bird Would Be Proud!

Last Saturday, my husband and I went down to our gate and started our “trash pick up.” We’ve lived in the country for over ten years and we do this at least once a year—usually twice. We don’t just do the area in front of our fence—we work on both sides of the highway and go up to a bridge in either direction. We hope that, as people drive by, we are inspiring them to go home and do the same.

 I asked him how much area we cover. Here is his explanation:

“The length of our place at the highway is approximately 850 feet. So 1700 feet per each side or 3400 feet or 1133 yards long or .64 of a mile. But if you calculate area, I figure the width of each side is 25 feet. So it would be 85,000 square feet or 1.9 acres covered.”

Hmmm. Okay. I don’t know what the heck he said or if he’s even close to a good guess. I’ll just sum it up: we cover a lot of area we don’t have to and it takes us anywhere between one to two hours to complete our task.

It never ceases to amaze us at how “trashy” people can be. PLEASE don’t get me wrong: We know we are not perfect. However, we do make every attempt to put trash where it belongs. It doesn’t belong on our beautiful roads and highways.

Here’s our process: We get a 45-gallon Hefty bag and we head out on our little ATV. We take turns driving while the other gets in and out. It involves semi-intense walking (you have to watch out for deep, hidden holes) and lots of bending. We wear gloves, of course, and stay very cautious—making sure we don’t cut our hands. In ten years we've picked up a lot of interesting stuff.

Here’s a list of what we picked up last Saturday:

Car “parts”—several pieces of a fender and/or bumper, a reflector light, and three pieces of a tire; LOTS o’ styrofoam container pieces (I think those scientists are right: styrofoam probably doesn’t ever totally disintegrate—YIKES); several sacks, cups, straws and wrappers from various fast food places; LOTS o’ pieces of random paper products; too many beer cans—in all forms: old ones that had probably been there since our last trash pickup—new ones that were probably thrown out the night before; five (mostly) empty bottles of beer; and two large feed sacks.

Here are our favorite items (we always have at least one!) this particular pick up day:

A “mixed cd” that said: “So-and-So’s (I won’t put the actual names) Love Songs.” It was all alone—no other trash around it. Looked like someone had tried to break it before they tossed it. We speculated “So and So” might not be together any more.

And, last, but not least, a pair of tidy-whities. Let's spend no time pondering this, okay?

Many of us Baby Boomers grew up with a HUGE NO LITTERING campaign. “Don’t be a litterbug.” What happened to that? A new campaign started many years ago called “Don’t Mess with Texas.” It’s a sad day when you see someone throw trash at one of those signs. You can actually “adopt” sections of roads and highways in Texas to keep clean (I think other states have caught on to this simply fabulous idea).

If every single one of us picked up trash in the area around our homes—even those of us who live in the country—wouldn’t that be AWESOME? A valuable statement that we care. I am making a challenge to everyone today: DON’T BE A LITTERBUG. It would disappoint Lady Bird. (If you don’t know who Lady Bird is, Google her! She was an important, gracious woman in our country's history who truly disliked trash “apathy.”)

EOL. (End of Lecture!)

And ttfn!

1 comment:

Kristy said...

Lady Bird would be proud! I can honestly say I do not throw trash out my window and nothing irks me more than when I see someone throw a cigarette butt out their window, not only because of the potential fire hazard but because its just nasty and rude. I can't tell you how many times I have been tempted to pick it up and then pull up next to the car at a light and walk up and say "Here, you dropped this."