Trash Walk

Long ago I learned something important about myself – I need trees.

It’s my happy place where I can recharge, surrounded by the protection and stillness of nature. It’s not surprising then that a small wooded area near my home would draw me in like magnet during these days of lockdown.

Each day I’ve said a small prayer of thanks for access to this special place even though the circular path is only a few hundred metres.

On my last visit, I noted with irritation the growing piles of litter being left behind by inconsiderate walkers through MY space. The seed of an idea began to grow that I should use my outdoor time to make a small difference and try to leave the world a little better than I found it.

So yesterday I headed out for my walk armed with a plastic bag and a pair of gardening gloves, intent on cleaning up my little forest. Imagine my shock and dismay when I discovered that it too was now a victim of the city lockdown of all parks and trails.

I actually stood there for several minutes contemplating whether I should simply walk around the tape and continue on with my walk. After all, I was on a noble quest. Surely there was room for such a venture during this lockdown.

I finally decided after considerable debate with myself that sometimes I have to behave like an adult. The decision pained me, but I decided that respecting the intention of the closure was important during this pandemic crisis.

Instead, I contented myself with picking up the trash in the area surrounding the entrance. Even though garbage cans were readily available, apparently it was too much to ask for people to actually use them.

I emptied my now partially filled plastic bag into the garbage can and headed back home with the revised intention of picking up garbage along the side of the road.

I became even more discouraged at the amount of garbage I discovered along the road side. Coffee cups, plastic bottles, pop cans, but especially latex gloves and face masks. It just didn’t end. Why people? Why?

I barely dented the mess before my bag was filled.

The exercise had some important learnings for me – the biggest one being that it was hard work!! … especially as my bag became heavier and heavier. This was definitely not something I would want to do everyday! It reminded me too much of picking up all those damn pine cones that litter my front yard on a regular basis.

I hate {expletive} pine cones … but I digress.

Then I was faced with the problem of what to do with my bag. I was still some distance from home and I wasn’t prepared to drag the bag all the way with me. Even if I did, it would never fit into the tiny garbage can provided by the city.

I reluctantly decided that the ‘best’ solution was to leave the bag beside the garbage can near the bus stop where I had been collecting. I could only hope that garbage collection was going to be soon.

I admit I’m at a bit of a loss right now. I’ve lost the best part of my walk and I now have challenges to resolve in my quest to be a positive example in my small corner of the world. Who knew it would be so hard.

Was it icky to pickup some of this crap? Yes.

Will I do it again? Yes.

What about you? Inspired to make your own little difference in the world?

130 comments

  1. I too pick up Trash when I see it and find it equally disrespectful, lazy and annoying that people are littering the landscape. Some Humans are just very messy, in more ways than one. Sad that the Trails were closed, too many Natural spaces remained restricted or closed here too while they opened such things as Bars, Tattoo Parlors, Nail Salons, Hair Salons and Gyms… I don’t Get It?

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  2. Just read this today Joanne but my neighbour and I have been collecting garbage from our local parks for the last five days. My neighbour has given herself a 30 day challenge so she is on day 7. It’s amazing how many empty water bottles and beer cans we’ve collected. The cigarette butts are endless and paper cups and fast food wrappers are trapped under leaves and winter debris. I’ll keep doing this until we don’t need to but even on areas we’ve cleaned we’re finding new litter. Why can’t people walk 10 steps to throw away their garbage?

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    • Congratulations to you and your neighbour! This is hard and ungrateful work … and I’m particularly sad that areas you’ve cleaned don’t stay that way. This is shameful 🙁

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  3. We are lucky here in B.C. that our Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, understands and values the importance of getting outside and having access to green spaces. She explicitly encourages people to spend time outdoors with their housemates. Vancouver, a large city, has a large wooded park right on Burrard Inlet in the downtown core — Stanley Park. Vancouverites love Stanley Park and it is heavily used for cycling, walking, hiking, jogging, etc. Rather than close it down, I’ve read that our provincial authorities have posted signs about social distancing, implemented one-way directional walking, and employed people to stroll through reminding people to maintain a two meter distance.

    Regarding littering, both Rob and I have been known to ask people to pick up something we’ve seen them throw on the ground.

    Jude

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  4. Joanne I am cheering from across the country for your efforts. Let me first start though by saying How i too would have been tempted to carry on with the walk. You made the right decision. As to the littering i have no idea why people do it. At times like these doing good in the world can only help us to feel like we have purpose. I also believe it is good role modeling. Others may begin to do it as well. Lastly the less litter people see on the ground the less they will feel it is normal to leave it there. in summary bravo to you my friend.

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    • You said it all. I too believe that litter begets more litter. I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I went for my walk and found that an area I had seen that was very littered had already been picked up by someone. It made me smile. Obviously there are others who also care 🙂

      Continuing to send best wishes to you and your family. I guess as a nurse, you are feeling an extra layer of anxiety – and pride – for those in your profession.

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      • Joanne that is wonderful that you saw an area that someone else had picked up. I’d like to think they saw you doing just that which gave them the idea!

        As a retired nurse I have a mixture of emotions. I was still working during SARS and H1N1 although in comparison now that seems so much smaller. I feel for those on the front line. The risk, the emotional and physical fatigue and the pride they take in their work. I am relieved I have been retired too long to be considered useful to be honest.

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        • Gilles and I had a conversation about this on the weekend. I believe many of these healthcare workers will suffer serious post-traumatic stress. We hear the statistics every day and for the most part, they are just numbers to us. For the healthcare workers, these are faces and names. I simply cannot imagine the extraordinary emotional upheaval of their day, trying to deal with the crisis both personally and professionally 😢

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          • It is very true I’m afraid. Especially in instances when staff are torn between which patient to help. I hope the Canadian system doesn’t face the type of surge seen in places such as NYC, Italy and Spain.

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  5. I always have a trash bag with me when I walk the dogs in the forest or go hiking. I learned it the hard way years ago when one of my dogs stepped into broken glass and I had to get him back to the car.

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    • Broken glass was some of what I picked up. My first thought was of cyclists (many of them in my area use the sidewalks 😠). It never occurred to me that dogs could potentially hurt themselves as well!! I guess I just assumed they would know not to walk on it. Now I realize what a foolish assumption that was.

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      • I suppose that is true, when they can see it, but it was broken glass from a beer bottle right by a tree stomp. My dog jumped over it and jumped right in the glass and cut his paw open. It took all the strengths I could come up with to carry him to the car, it was messy. I was mad as a snake. Ever since I carry a plastic bag with me when I go for a walk with the dogs, not just a poopy bag.

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  6. Thank you for this inspiring account Joanne – I feel you keenly on 2 counts: the ickiness of trash, and increasing loss of space.

    Despite your distaste & aversion, you took positive steps to clean up where you can – you are my hero!

    When I was a week in isolation, what I missed the most was my daily runs. Although I am not what I would consider an outdoorsy-type, I do need my dose of being outdoors.

    Here is Singapore, the list of public spaces closing down is increasing daily – understandable given that people are prone to congregate despite repeated warnings. Yesterday, it was beaches and running tracks. I am dreading the day our parks will be too.

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  7. I’ve been told that in some states of Australia, we can actually report litterers to the proper authorities, and they will be issued a fine. I think there’s a special website or phone number for it. Do you have something like that in Canada? Hopefully you don’t have to resort to becoming some kind of anti-litter vigilante though!

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  8. Oh Joanne, I am so much with you on this post.
    One, I had to move 800 miles away and live in a barren landscape to discover how important trees were to me. It took me about three days and I lived there 7 years. 😦 You cannot know the joy I feel in having a wooded lot, but I bet you can guess.
    Two, when I walked my kids to the bus stop every day, I walked back with a bag of litter, every day 😦 I have noticed that it’s not as bad as it used to be and wonder why, but I also notice the alley is worse, like people saw me cleaning and changed locations. The worst bit is that the alley actually has two huge dumpsters, but people just trash it.
    Ugh.
    Anyway, I’m sorry your trail is closed for a while, sorry people trash up your walk, and I hope you stay well 🙂

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    • Walking down a tree-lined street just isn’t the same as walking a forest trail – especially if that trail is just a small dirt path over rocks and tree roots. That’s where I feel the stress of the world slide off my shoulders. I cannot imagine trying to live somewhere that’s ‘barren’. It would starve my soul … but you already know that feeling!

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  9. Oregon’s parks and trails were closed because everyone was going walking in the woods. Sigh. When the sun comes out over here, people go crazy. I’m sorry your walk was blocked off, but good for you for still picking up trash. Do I understand why people feel entitled to toss their trash wherever they go? Not at all. It’s inconsiderate and immature and selfish. Thank goodness there are people who care enough to pick up after them. ❤

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  10. I’m so sorry that you’re walking trail has closed. We haven’t made it out for a hike, but have been walking the path at the local park. That was so wonderful of you to clean up so much trash, even though it sucks that it’s necessary. I keep hearing about people littering masks and gloves and while it shouldn’t surprise me, it does.

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  11. I have a friend who walks the beach almost every day (although not at the moment when it’s closed) and she always carries a trash bag with her to pick up stuff. I truly appreciate people like her, and you. I’ve been known to pick up some things as I walk the beach or park trail myself…. but not like you did. Good for you! And I do hope the trials open soon.

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    • I learned the practice from my long-time hiking partner, Helen. She would routinely pick up any trash that wasn’t too icky and put it in her backpack to carry it out on our hikes. It just naturally became a habit on my part too.

      I don’t carry a backpack to walk around my neighbourhood, so I have to remember to bring a bag and gloves. I guess it’s just another habit I have to learn.

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  12. Wow, that’s a lot of trash for a small area in what looks to be a respectable neighborhood. Shocked. In SE Asia it’s commonplace to see folks tossing their trash on the ground, while driving, or placing it somewhere, which is weird like a cup of coffee on a wall.

    Like you, I need nature, I think that’s why I have as many plants as I do. It’s what I can control. Good on you for helping to make the world a cleaner place.

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      • I know in China (because my partner lived there), public lands are considered being owned by ‘nobody’ which is the exact opposite of how I was raised in the US. Public lands were considered for everybody. So, if nobody owns the land, then it’s treated as such. I know, that doesn’t make much sense from our point of views, but that might help.

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  13. I hate people who litter. Why on earth can’t they take things home with them and dispose them properly? I remember being behind a car stopped at traffic lights in Sheffield on my way home. The driver suddenly tipped the entire contents of his ashtray out of the window and onto the street. I was so aghast I actually opened my door to go and say something when the lights changed. Perhaps as well, who knew what he would have done to me. Luckily here I don’t see much litter other than the black plastic that farmers seem to use which gets caught in trees and hedges. Irritates me to death. As does dog poo in bags suspended from trees etc. Why folks?

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  14. You’re a good woman, Joanne. Totally get the dilemma of wanting to obey rules but also complete what was a giving task. And i can’t imagine losing access to the one space left to recharge. If they close the river path near my home I’ll be in trouble. It’s hard enough not being able to drive to the coast path. (Someone got a $1600 fine the other day for driving to a mountain bike trail to exercise. It wasn’t considered essential travel.)

    Making whatever small difference we can is so important right now. You have my respect.

    What’s the situation in Canada, Joanne? We don’t hear anything here. Any foreign news is dominated by the situation in the US. I’m hoping no news means you guys are doing a good job of containment.

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    • I haven’t heard of people getting fines for unnecessary travel here, but definitely for gathering in places that are considered closed. There is a story of one guy who is reported to be facing jail time for throwing a big party with 20-30 people. Apparently it’s to send a message for blatant disregard for the physical distancing measures in place.

      As far as COVID cases go, it varies widely across the country. I think like everywhere, there are hotspots and the large urban areas, like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, tend to be hardest hit.

      I’m rather proud of our federal and provincial governments which are cooperating extensively during this crisis, in spite of some very wide political differences. Those differences have appeared to be parked right now in favour of the general good … which is exactly what you would expect your governments to be doing. I’m especially surprised here in Ontario where I would categorize our Premier as Trump-lite. I must say, he has really impressed me through this crisis – rising to the challenge and being a real leader. Who says miracles don’t happen?

      I try not to follow the numbers closely. It just elevates my anxiety, but my impression is that our per capita numbers are still relatively low. There was a huge upfront effort to contain the virus so our healthcare system wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Our biggest problem has been replenishing much-needed supplies like masks and ventilators. It is absolutely awe-inspiring to hear about companies, both big and small, that have quickly retooled to begin testing and manufacturing for these much-needed supplies.

      Sorry for the very long comment. Likewise, we hear nothing from your area except from what I read from bloggers. Hope you are all doing well!!

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      • Our sitation here sounds similar to yours. (Who would have guessed Canadians and Australians would have a similar approach. 🙄😁) Federal and State governments of both political persuasions are working together and we also went out hard with restrictions early. As a result our numbers are low and dropping. Most amazing has been the massive assistance bill put forward by a conservative government. It’s everything against their usual ideology but they’ve managed to put that aside to do the right thing for the country. I’m rather hoping it might change the way politics operates into the future but I won’t count on it.

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        • It does sound like our governments are in synch – right down to the massive emergency assistance bills to support people laid off and small businesses now in serious jeopardy.

          Unfortunately, our numbers are not dropping and with Easter / Passover upon us, I’m afraid many families will ignore the quarantine and we’ll see a big spike again over the next 2 weeks. Apparently Torontonians are an unruly bunch 😕

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  15. Oh no, Joanne, on lockdown of your forest space. We live almost right across the street from a park with a little forest path behind this park. Right now it is a mini escape and I pretend I am deep in the forest. My concern is how this may change.
    Kudos to you for helping with the garbage (should not be there.) Latex gloves and face masks on the ground is very inconsiderate.

    My husband said he has started noticing some painted rocks on this trail. Sounds innocent, although I was hoping things stay the same. No luck on this one at all. Like your mask………a new salutation of our times. 🙂

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    • I feel shockingly bereft at the loss of the small forest oasis. It made up a very small part of my overall walk, but it was the portion I loved and craved the most 😢

      Deb was the one who showed me how to make my own mask using a bandanna. At first I was highly resistant to the idea and I took the photo as a lark. Then I decided it was actually a sign of the times. Hopefully it will be short-lived.

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  16. When our girls were young, they asked me why people littered. I responded that I guessed it was because they were lazy. We used to pick up litter around the little lake near our house (or part of the area.) People would come by and say thanks or tell us what a great job we were doing…but I never saw anyone else out doing it. I routinely picked up trash in the park where I walked. I kept kitchen garbage bags and non-latex gloves in the van so I’d always be ready. The first time I picked up trash where I accessed the park, from the parking lot of a business strip mall, I found $20. Made my day. 🙂

    Keep up the good work and stay sane and healthy!

    janet

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    • I’m glad the universe sent you a reward for your good deed 🙂

      I don’t understand why people deliberately toss their garbage on the ground. It’s not hard to carry it to the nearest garbage can. My long-time hiking partner, Helen, was the one who first inspired me to make that small difference in the world by picking up someone else’s trash and carrying it to the nearest garbage can … except we’ve only done it in the green spaces we value so much.

      And we weren’t the only ones. We occasionally encountered others doing the same thing. That’s when I feel hope for the human race.

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  17. It’s a shame that all the parks and beaches have to close because people have been seen conjugating on them and not maintaining distances from each other. And then it’s the good citizens who have to suffer. I have never understood littering. I use a grabber that I bought for my mother to bring up litter I’m too leery to touch! Then I disinfect the grabber of course.

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    • When I was out walking yesterday, I dearly wished I had a grabber. We used to have one from when my younger son broke his hip snowboarding several years ago, but I no longer know what happened to it. It sure would come in handy!!

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  18. Good on you Joanne for making a difference (however temporary) to your environment, especially one that’s so important to your well-being. I hope the trail closure doesn’t last too long.

    The Big T is a champion litter picker-upper and I’d glad to say his good ways have rubbed off on me. I’m not quite brave enough to challenge the litterers as they commit their crimes (unless they’re kids, older than me or sufficiently hobbled that I could outrun them), but I love watching people squirm under his polite but firm onslaught.

    But basically I’ve decided that some people are stupid, selfish and ignorant and I really don’t know how to change that.

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    • It is disgusting and I’m terribly disappointed with my fellow human beings.

      I’m encouraged however to finally see that this issue has hit the news tonight they are talking about the growing litter problem.
      I can only hope that by shining a light on the issue, it will be a wakeup call for the hordes of stupid and irresponsible people.

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  19. So proud of you on two counts – first for playing by the rules in the case of abiding by the blocked trail…I’m often not a play by the rules person (as I guess you may not be either!) but this pandemic requires so much social cooperation to get through. Also proud of you for picking up trash – what is with people – just so hard to figure out. I used to do this at a park nearby each spring as the snow melted and revealed the trash – so sad. Love the mask – stay safe.

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    • I’m happy to see that this litter problem – especially with masks and gloves – has finally hit the news. People need to be called out.

      I would generally categorize myself as a rule follower. They are there for a reason and I try to respect that …. ‘most’ of the time 😉 I think that probably describes most of us 🙂

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    • Sadly, I discovered exactly how difficult it is to turn intention into action.
      I see it all the time – people with disposable coffee cups in hand heading out onto the trail. I want to believe all those cups make the journey back out, but I know that’s not the case 😕. It’s hard to know what the solution is when it appears so many people don’t care.

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  20. Kudos to you for making an effort to clean up other people’s crap. Littering is a real bug a boo for me. I just don’t get it. Why is it so difficult for people to pick up their shit & dispose of it properly.

    I was out for a bike ride out in the country today and passed a steep ditch where it looked someone had just come along with numerous (I am talking at least a dozen) and just heaved them into the ditch. WTF people?

    I am so sorry your trail has been closed. I must admit, I kind of giggled at the thought of you standing there, deciding whether to break the rules. I hope you manage to source another lovely spot to be able to get out for a ramble💕

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    • I know what you mean about ditches along country roads. It really makes me crazy. People toss stuff out of their cars and don’t give it a second thought.

      Sadly, I would have to drive someplace to find another green space to walk. Even then I don’t know if I would find it closed. Just one more casualty in this fight against COVID. They really, REALLY want people to stay at home.

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  21. First and foremost – I love the photo with your face mask. 🙂 I’ve never understood people littering, but the idea that they are dropping face masks and gloves goes way beyond that. So, applause to you for doing something to help your community. When you said ‘bag,’ I had no idea you meant BAG. That’s a lot of litter. I can’t really say I’ve done too much for my fellow humans except donate elastic to a friend making masks for ICE detainees, and staying home so I don’t catch or spread anything. As far as your local trail being closed, they are doing the same thing here because so many are out trying to get exercise. Some times there are more walkers and joggers out on the road that I can see than there are vehicles.

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    • Deb, at the Widow Badass, showed me how to construct my own mask. After my initial reaction of “Good God, No!”, I decided to embrace it … hence a new (hopefully very temporary) profile pic 🙂

      I think next time I should bring 2 bags. It certainly won’t take long to fill them, that’s for sure!

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  22. Good for you Joanne. It’s nice to know that some people care. The list of bizarre items I’ve encountered over the years on trails and at campsites has left me so angry at times. I always try to find reasons to forgive others for their errors and shortcomings but sometimes it’s not so easy.

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  23. Let’s see, instead of walking on a trail, which tends to be less peopled, you must now take your walks on a sidewalk, which tends to have more people. I’m not understanding how this can be called “social distancing.”
    But at least the trails will now be less littered while closed. Thanks for making a tiny dent in the scourge of littering.

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    • I think it’s a neighbourhood by neighbourhood issue. I live in a very quiet area of the city. People just don’t go outside – even at the best of times.
      However there are other areas of the city which are very densely populated and there is a huge problem with people congregating in the green spaces. To combat this blatant lack of physical distancing ALL trails are now closed … even ones like my little forest which is rarely used.
      Last weekend I saw the biggest ‘crowd’ on my trail that I’d ever seen … 2 other people.

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  24. Living out in the desert I find trash big and small on the trails. It’s sad. Some of the bigger items get used for target practice.

    I used to pick up the trash left on the trail to my lone tree in Silicon Valley, then someone put in a little trash basket, and that helped, but I still carried a bag with me. I may have to start again on the trails here that are getting busier and busier in the last month. Pack it in, pack it out people! I guess more people need to learn to practice “leave no trace”.

    You’re an inspiration, Joanne!

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  25. You’re a good person. I’ve been trying to remain upbeat on my blog, but I’ve been tempted to rant about the people who throw their cart sanitizing wipes in the cart and their gloves on the parking lot next to their car. The store has a trash can near the cart return – of course, these are the same people who don’t return their carts.

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  26. Hi Joanne. This is my first time reading your blog. I had a similar experience a month ago at a scenic lakefront park in my city. I noticed empty Tim Hortons coffee cups tucked in between the rocks when there were garbage bins located only a few feet away. I can relate to the feeling. Stay safe!

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  27. The paths and trails are closed everywhere, but here’s the irony. The bike path around the bay is closed. It’s about 10 feet wide, and can accommodate three strollers side-by-side.

    What has happened is that all of the walkers, joggers, bikers and strollers have been displaced to the city sidewalk above the beach. (We’re still allowed to get out for exercise.)

    The sidewalk is about three feet wide, and can accommodate one stroller. People approaching, or passing have to step off the sidewalk and onto the street. It’s impossible to maintain any safe distance without the risk of getting run over by a car.

    Conversely, there is plenty of room on the bike path . If need be, you could step onto the sand, and simply walk along the beach where you could be yards apart from the nearest person.

    Government edicts are so often idiotic that it seems as if politicians have absolutely no common sense. Absolutely none!

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  28. We live rural and we still see beer cans in the ditch regularly — didn’t want to think that people were still drinking and driving but we see proof all the time. Ron always picks them up. Very little garbage per say but we get couches, old fridges and tires. All big ticket items that can cost at a land fill. We call the RM to get them picked up.
    Good on you for doing your part. Sorry you’ve lost your tree area to walk in. I totally understand why they are doing this but it’s hard. Trees are proven to reduce stress. Take care

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    • As a cyclist I’ve seen my fair share of discarded stuff in ditches. It’s shameful … but the big stuff? Thats takes a special kind of low-life 😕

      I was kind of hoping that with everyone in isolation it would instill pride and gratitude in one’s surroundings. Apparently I was wrong.

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    • I admit I was starting to wonder if I was in fact keeping myself safe while picking up garbage. I think next time I’ll be wearing a mask … if only for its placebo effect 🙂

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  29. Good for you, Joanne! This was something I used to do with my kids when we were out for walks. Time to start bringing a bag with me again. You are inspiring, as usual!

    What really grinds my gears these days out on the trails that are not yet verboten in my area is the bags filled with dog poop. Why bother to bag the poop if you are not going to take it with you and dispose of it properly? Just let the damn poop sit there then, and it will at least eventually distintegrate, melt in the rain, degrade naturally.

    Instead there are dozens of plastic-encased poops laying around that nature can’t get at, to do its thing. Does anybody know what is the reasoning behind dog owners doing this?

    Deb

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  30. I find it difficult to nail down the exact emotion I feel when I find litter – which is quadrupled if I actually see someone in the act… anger? despair? fear? The last one is there in a small amount because I am afraid of the fact that we walk upon the earth with others who have no regard for the planet and the rest of the Earth’s residents.

    I know, I know… it has always been thus and always will be. But I hate that.

    What I love is the fact that you did your small part to make it better.

    Thanks, Joanne.

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  31. Dear Joanne,
    Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma are VERY proud of you that you picked up the litter.
    Most of the people in our village recycle because of the community. We are getting £350 for every filled container. They are for glass, cans, cardboard and paper etc. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t see litter here. Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma are getting pocket money for litter they collect.
    We do a beach clean twice a year and it’s amazing what you find there especially single shoes. We wonder how these people walked home.
    Stay healthy and happy
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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    • I love the fact you do beach cleans!! I was a lifeguard on a waterfront during my teenage years and each morning at the beginning of our shift, we had to walk the beach picking up litter. Thankfully it was few and far between back then.

      I’m afraid those days are gone. People are terrible now. Maybe just another sign that I’m becoming a grouchy old lady 😏

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  32. Good for you Joanne. I am so disgusted and discouraged when I go out for walks and see all of the garbage lying around. There is a woman in my home town in Manitoba who goes out every night for a walk and picks up garbage. She has consequently cleaned up the entire town over time. Now when she heads out there is barely any garbage for her to pick up. Hopefully your favourite treed park will become pristine over time.

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    • That is so encouraging to read!!

      I believe that garbage begets more garbage. When there is already a mess, for some reason people seem to think littering so ok.
      I would be thrilled to get the same result as this woman!!

      At this time of year, it’s usual to see an accumulation of garbage after the snow melts and reveals all of it. This year however is exceptionally bad and I think the city workers have bigger fish to fry than the cleanup of the road sides. Hopefully my small effort can make a difference.

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      • Totally agree with you that garbage begets more garbage. Same as graffiti begets more graffiti. We always refer to it as the broken window syndrome. I find the city of Toronto to be rather dirty and I wish that every store/building was responsible for washing off the sidewalk in front of their building. And I wish the city would do something to improve the city garbage cans. They are often overflowing, stink and are filthy. Sometimes they don’t open properly so there is garbage lying around them because they couldn’t get it inside without touching it. So sorry for the rant but garbage is a huge pet peeve of mine

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        • That makes two of us. I think some businesses (and residents) do a better job than others, but a general disregard for the community and inconsiderate disposal of garbage just makes me grouchy.

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  33. I can’t fathom why people who go walking on a trail through the woods, who one would think are people conscious about and invested in looking after that environment, can even contemplate dumping their rubbish along the way. Shame on them. And good on you for your noble intentions and actions, Joanne. People like you should inherit the earth.

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  34. I admire you for cleaning up after other people. I cannot fathom why people toss litter away any old place, but they do. As for what I do to make a little difference in the world, I’m conscientious to a fault about recycling things around here. I cannot know for sure that our trash company really does recycle items like they say they do, but I do my part.

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  35. You are an inspiration, Joanne! This time is showing us who we really are. Maybe we should share this post with the City. I know they are doing the best they can, but this might be something worth looking into. That way you get your piece of paradise back and that peace of mind you feel can spread to those in your neighbourhood! 🙂

    Rashmi

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  36. You’re a good person, Joanne. Ironic that you mention latex gloves and masks being part of the trash. I watched a video yesterday where a nurse showed how many germs we pick up when we wear gloves to the grocery store. It was very information and enlightening. But she ended with showing the proper way to remove the gloves and said, “Throw them in the trash, people! Not in the parking lot–in the trash!” Who knew people had to be told to do this.

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    • It baffles me, Lois. Litter makes me crazy.

      I appreciate that in the spring things look a little messy. The wind whips stuff out of garbage cans, and stuff gets dropped out of pockets (I’ve lost enough gloves to know this one) … but intentionally dropping garbage on the ground? It just baffles me.

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  37. I noticed about a month ago that the sides of a road frequently traveled was littered badly. During the summer it’s covered with growth and during the winter it sticks out like a sore thumb. Who throws stuff out of their car while driving? There are no stops along this road? Just as I resolved to take a bag and clean it up, our township came through and cleaned it up. I feel the same way about trees. I’m neurotic about them. We built our house 18 years ago and it was bare. The first thing I did was plant the large shade trees and today it’s so homey. Trees are peaceful and they suck out your stress. They also add wildlife that makes you smile. Add water to that, like a river, creek, ocean or even a small pond, and I’m in heaven.

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