Trash Walk

Since the advent of the Covid 19 Pandemic this past spring some of us have had more time on our hands, at least for a while. It has been a time to try new activities and reinvigorate old hobbies. Though we have not been out every day, most days my family takes a walk or bicycle ride around the streets of Alliance. We also recently helped with a highway cleanup for church. Soon I think we may combine the two.

My children have enjoyed “trash walks” in the past. This is when you combine a routine walk with picking up litter. The time spent outdoors is not a targeted clean up, rather it spruces up a route you’d be on anyway. Your walk may be through an area with a lot of trash or a relatively spiffy part of town. Does not matter, because the next person to pass by will find it refreshing that someone took the time to pick up that scrap of paper or old beer can blowing in the wind.

While attending the Keep America Beautiful National Convention in Memphis this past February one of the presentations mentioned this activity. More specifically, the speaker focused on picking up trash while jogging. Apparently this practice has gained popularity nationwide.

Run, jog, hike, walk, whatever. The rate of travel has nothing to do with the fact that these people are committed to ensuring a cleaner environment for themselves and their neighbors.

There was a couple here in town that would walk all over with their dog and a grabber stick picking up trash. It seems like they did this for years and maybe they still do and I have not seen them for a while. They were a great example of spending time together and making things a little cleaner while they were at it.

For the most part, the places I walk in Alliance are already litter free. However if you head out with the intention of picking something up I’m sure bits of trash will stand out. Some places, like downtown or near the schools, may have more foot traffic and be good places to pass by on a trash walk.

Equipment needed for a trash walk is minimal. A pair of gloves and a sack is all that’s necessary. A grabber may come in handy. If you go through the park or other public areas at the end of your walk the trash can be easily disposed of and need not be carried home.

I suggest introducing children to the importance of a clean community through trash walks. Make it a game. Kids can see how many pieces of litter they can find and compare what people throw on the ground. Common items could even count as part of a trash scavenger hunt. It is gratifying for them to know the next family will have a cleaner neighborhood to walk through.

Try a trash walk once before summer is over. It may not be your thing, but it may become a new hobby. It only takes a few minutes to help keep Alliance beautiful.