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One piece in a kazillion piece puzzle …

My little corner of the world is actually several corners; Sharon View Road to Colony Road to Fairview Road to Sharon Road and back home along Sharon View.

To a large extent, the localized environment of this mostly rectangle-shaped route is a microcosm of the larger environmental scheme. When scientists talk about the upstream impacts to the overall chain of world health, my neighborhood is that upstream impact. But for those who pick up any amount of litter are concerned, the connection ends there. The junk reclaimed won’t threaten the waterways. It won’t be eaten by wildlife. It won’t be absorbed into the ground or lie dormant for who knows how many years or decades. And this is to say nothing of the visual impact. Litter creates an invasive view, an eyesore and is a visual blight. It speaks to the society’s lazy outlook that seemingly turns a blind eye to such wastefulness.

This debris represents the blight that affects our neighborhoods. We have to do something about it. But we can't expect someone to do it for us. We have to accept the responsibility on our own.

This debris represents the blight that infects our neighborhoods. We have to do something about it. But we can’t expect someone to do it for us. We have to accept the responsibility on our own.

Certainly we can do better. We owe it to four legged, winged, finned, scaled, and yes, two legged creatures to be better stewards of our shared neighborhood resources.

I think of this often on my daily walks. If our world was a kazillion piece jigsaw puzzle, my turf would be one minuscule piece that fits in somewhere even if we don’t know exactly where or how. But fit it does.

You can amplify the number of minuscule pieces (i.e. neighborhoods that need tending) exponentially throughout Charlotte. By extension, the same can be said in St. Paul, Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Miami, Denver and Portland, Oregon, et al. Collectively that’s what we’re up against in what amounts to a street-by-street war against litter along with its insidious sidekicks, namely physical and visual pollutants. It will be up to individuals to find the niche where their piece fits into the larger, but globally shared, puzzle.

About Dave Bradley (260 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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