Monday 15 April 2013

Earth Day April 22nd - what will you do?

Garbage collected from the ditch
-quite the haul.
Now, to me every day is Earth Day, but for those who aren't inclined, like the drivers who cruise up and down our highway,  chucking stuff out their windows, they need to figure this out.

Dirty ditches
trash blown by the wind
I would like to show you the garbage picked up from the ditch. I was motivated to do this after spotting a Facebook friend's photo of the garbage she picked up. I do this at least twice a year.

We often go for walks and it is disconcerting seeing the garbage in our ditches. I know how much many depend upon tourism for their income, and it looks terrible on a drive through a county.

We took a long drive across southeast Ontario the other day, photographing birds and otters,and I spotted two couples in the ditch picking up trash. I wasn't quick enough to get a photo, but it warmed my heart.

Our precious critters
What is ironic, is that to put out extra bags of garbage costs us, as we have to put a township tag on those bags! On my first foray, I picked 5 beer bottles/cans from the wet ditch, and put them on the road, intending on coming back. They were gone when I returned! I've seen people walking up and down, collected them. I asked one dude why he couldn't pick up ALL the garbage! Silly me.

The garbage is awfully disappointing. Tim Horton's is the worst, with the others following suit.
I see these guys drive by and wonder why.

We are a distance from Wendy's. Enough to eat a supersized meal and dump it out the window. Read more here.
Two supersized orders with fries,
 and he didn't finish either.
Obviously, they were NOT in MY classes. We learned about the impact of the ubiquitous plastic on animals. We collected it, the kids were keen and we did it every year.

Garbage attracts bears. Muskoka cottagers leave garbage out on a Sunday night before heading back to the city for the week, garbage day being on
This little gift on our driveway after a storm
Wednesday. The bears get into it.

We had someone dumping their bag of garbage with ours our first summer here in Lanark. It was bizarre. It's what, $2 for a county sticker. They thousands of dollars in property taxes lakeside, for the privilege of being here.

Impact on wildlife
Birds eat spent balloons.
Turtles are compromised by plastic.
On our lake, fishermen would leave lures to be picked and eaten by anyone and anything.
last year I laid it all out. 

Talk about drinking and driving!

Smokers are the worst! Can't tell you
how many cigarette butts I found, too!

Canoeing I found this. They get stuck on animal's necks
or turtle's bodies.

Surely they could encourage people to return them?
That dang roll-up-the-rim contest...
recycling bin full, one large garbage bag
I have a strategy
With my gr. 7 class, we collected these in Nepean.
We charted and graphed the results!
It was a blur of excitement and activity!
I know how to teach math!

Found...left behind in the lake
To learn more about Earth Day 2013 and The Face of Climate Change, go to
to see a garter snake slithering amongst
human trash is a sad commentary


Kay L. Davies said...

A fabulous post, Jenn. I hope someone will learn something from it, but the trouble is, most of our blog readers are people who already think as we do.
HOWever, in answer to your question: what will I do on Earth Day? I will probably forget it is Earth Day. I seldom remember very much for very long.
I think I'll ask Dick about garbage on his Lindy-walks. I could take Lindy's leash and Dick could take the wheelbarrow. We are fanatic recyclers here at our house, of course, and would never throw anything out the car windows.
Now, as for the light bulbs, which I see here on the right of your blog, I must ask him what he does (i.e. what we do).
Luv, K

Maude Lynn said...

I will never understand why people throw trash out like that!

Red said...

Spring time here displays a disaster. We have a woodland across from a mall. It's filled with junk from the mall.
You don't need the job of picking garbage out of ditches. There are too many other nice things to do.

eileeninmd said...

I can not stand seeing people throwing trash out their car windows. Including their cigarette butts. I have a name for them and I can say it here. Thanks for sharing and for caring. Have a happy week!

Christine said...

Good post Jenn! My daughter's boyfriend chased a bear down last summer with some garbage stuck on its head, and saved it.

betty-NZ said...

One of the first things I noticed about New Zealand was that there was very little trash on the sides of the road. They pay a company to pick it up, so I guess the end justifies the means.

When I was 7 or 8, I had gone to the store and bought a treat of some kind. As I crossed the street I opened the treat and threw the paper on the ground. A driver who was stopped at the stop sign to let me cross stuck his head out the window and told me to pick that up! I never threw trash on the ground again. Really. What a wonderful lesson I was taught.

Sylvia K said...

Like all of you, I can't understand why people throw out the kind of garbage -- any kind -- that they do!! And, yes, I have a name for them, too, that I can't use here! Thank you indeed for caring and for sharing! Hope you have a great week!

ExploreColorado said...

Wow that's a lot of garbage.