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Boots on the ground …

By now you’re likely tired of my weekend diatribes about near-obsessive getting out of bed before the sun and slurping coffee as I walk followed by weak moralisms about the upsides to picking up trash.

I’ve done a particularly poor job to enlist (convert?) others to the necessary habit to pick up even one piece of junk on their daily constitutionals. By my count, I have two converts/regular picker uppers: Cherie in South Carolina and Bob in Des Moines, Iowa.

But it’s a point worth belaboring: the cause of keeping your local environment clean – that includes paths and waterways – sorely needs your boots on the ground. One piece of junk might not seem like a lot, but a plastic bottle here and a chunk of polystyrene there, and pretty soon you are talking about making a solid difference.

Even one piece of trash removed from the environment is better than nothing. In fact, it will be something, and you'll feel proud for it.

Even one piece of trash removed from the environment is better than nothing. In fact, it will be something, and you’ll feel proud for it.

It’s not about the volume but is instead about what each of us can do as individuals to care for the mini-world that is your neighborhood. We either pitch in together or we abrogate the responsibility to others – when the solution is literally right under our feet.

Yeah, you may not want to carry a bag like I do since it can look weird, yet no one will think the worse of you or be the wiser if you stoop for that soda bottle or beer can or piece of random plastic.

Let me go ahead and forecast how you’ll feel when you toss your find(s) in the recycle bin: pretty damn satisfied. There’s a difference between watching and doing – and I’m hopeful that you’ll be a situational doer. All it takes is one piece on one walk. My late father used to admonish me years ago that to do the right thing on many fronts was better than a jab in the eye with a sharp stick.

He was right. Go get ’em.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; the first on 17 years of writing weekly letters 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 these single pagers 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 and so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 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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