What Do Earth Day and Trash Have in Common?

April 22 marks Earth Day 2018 and in praise of all things nature, I’m not going to write about trees, flowers or gardens, but instead I’m focused on trash.

Walking is my preferred method of exercise and I’m downright appalled at the amount of stuff left along streets and roads and collects in fields and along creek banks. Tongue in cheek, the “positive” thing about this stuff on land is that it hasn’t made its way into creeks or lakes—yet, but all of us have heard how plastics are sent downstream and are accumulating in the oceans.  Birds, fish and other marine life will eat plastic and, once it’s in their digestive system, the plastic becomes part of the food chain, which then means we are eating plastic too.

So let’s send out a call to all of humanity to step up to the plate and do our part to clean things up.  All over the country, “trashercise” groups are forming to get in some walking and pick up trash at the same time. One person I know carries a trash bag in one hand and a rosary in the other, getting three things done at once—exercising, trash clean-up, and praying!

Better yet, let’s not throw the trash out our car windows or allow the wind to blow away our unsecured stuff.  We certainly wouldn’t upend our trash in our kids’ rooms so why do it on their planet? We can recycle this stuff, use our reusable grocery bags and live a life where taking care of our home—the planet—is the norm.

Kathleen Cue
Horticulture Educator at Nebraska Extension
Kathleen serves as the Horticulture Educator for Nebraska Extension in Dodge County. She educates people on making smart plant choices to reduce use of fertilizers and pesticides in their landscape which has a positive impact on air, water, soil and environmental quality, property values and people’s pocketbooks.

Leave a Reply