Feeling sluggish after the holidays, and knowing I have to return to work soon, I decided a walk would get me going. I shut off the new LCD TV, put on my winter coat and gloves, put on my dog’s leash and headed out.
Walking toward Beach Camp at the end of Mine Road, I was noticing the amount of water in the ditches from the heavy rain, when I noticed a few aluminum cans and plastic containers scattered along the sides of the road. It became quite consistent even along the gravel road.
Black bears can leave a trail of garbage and the high winds here can also scatter it everywhere. But most of this gave evidence of people just tossing it as they are walking or driving.
I never recycled or even cared when I grew up and into my teens until I had children. One day I had to clean up broken glass in a park so they could play safely. That became the turning point. I started out recycling just plastic, and now I recycle most things, use the cloth shopping bags, and I bring in my bottles for a refund.
Among the many walks I have gone on, this one was no different. Just thinking about picking it up, but I had nowhere to put it, so I just kept walking by another styrofoam coffee cup, chip bag, and cigarette package. I tried not to notice, calling my dog and concentrating on my walk.
Suddenly, looking at about waist height, hanging off a branch was a white plastic bag. I couldn’t walk past it this time. I took a look inside discovering it was clean and empty. I actually said out loud, “Fine, I’ll do it!”
So I grabbed it and kept walking until I bent down to pick up a plastic cup, then a clear plastic Ziploc bag. Further on, a foil chip bag.
By the time I was halfway to my destination, the bag was almost full. Just about the same time I picked up another slightly dirty but empty plastic bag.
My shoes were wet, and my gloves were soaked and dirty. I could see my efforts paid off. It really did look better and felt better not to walk past all that garbage. Although nobody but my dog was around to pat me on the back, I knew I had done a good deed.
Slowly, I made my way home. I separated the bottles from the garbage, and realized how many people actually benefited from my walk today. I challenge everyone who enjoys a walk to bring a bag with you and give yourself a pat on the back.