July 21, 2013

TAKE OUT THE TRASH: How you can get your urban neighborhood to join your efforts to clean up your sidewalks

I have a new hobby while dog-walking. I carry around a plastic bag and stoop and pick up litter. I live in a part of South Beach that would be absolutely lovely if my neighbors and the tourists didn't abuse my neighborhood sidewalks with debris leftover from their lunches and drinking binges.

My pet peeve? Folks who are good enough to pick up dog waste but then leave the little knotted doo-doo bag on the grass between the street and sidewalk. Like Stuart Little is going to come by later in a little garbage truck and pick them up? Please, make the extra 2-block walk to a trash can and dispose of it properly.

As soon as I can afford it I am going to buy one of those sticks with a nail on the end to save my back bending over. In the meantime, my dogs are enjoying the delays as I stoop and scoop, because they have so much to sniff in the meantime and they've always felt I walk too fast anyway.

I'm thinking my next project will be to print a bunch of infographic posters and post them around my neighborhood with snapshots of the crap I find on my daily walk, asking people to help me out in my clean-up project.  For instance, there are a bunch of young men across the street from me who hang out late in the afternoon for 2-3 hours after they get off work, chattering in front of their apartment buildings. I'd very much like step over one day and hand them some of my plastic bags. I'd ask them to join me in my neighborhood clean-up while they're catching up on gossip together, but I'm kind of shy about such things.

So...I'm thinking (if you have similar problems in your own neighborhood) you might be interested in joining me in my efforts to clean up the world one block at a time by printing and posting some posters. If so, I have collected a number of terrifically informative infographics about the dangers of trash that I share with you here.

CLICK ON AN INFOGRAPHIC TO DOWNLOAD: