Happy Earth Day to those of you who acknowledge it. Today is the day when we make a conscious effort to do something in our environment to make our world a better place to live.
Last year, when I was teaching face to face, my students and I decided that we would clean up our school’s playground from all of the litter that was strewn everywhere! Just like countless other elementary schools, ours is used for many after school activities such as T-ball and playdates. For whatever reason, people who attend these events think that it is okay to leave their trash behind. It is as if they think our overworked, underpaid custodians enjoy cleaning up outsiders messes too!
Yes, to answer your question, we do have 3 trash barrels on our school grounds…
Armed with gloves (which would be hard to find this year) and store plastic grocery bags (which were hard to find last year), my students and I ventured into the school yard to make Mulready beautiful again.
FYI…Another frequent pastime is “let your dog run free, poop where the kids play and leave it there”, but we decided to leave this job to the experts who were armed with shovels!
We spent our 40 minute Social Studies block on our quest. Donned with paper capes, we filled up an entire “red barrel” with our treasures. The children were so proud of their efforts, but were even happier to be able to wear a pair of disposable white gloves. So much so that, I had to add these gloves as an incentive to my prize box after that. Don’t worry though, I told them that if they earned the gloves, they had to use them to clean up trash on the playground during recess. Those kids were the best behaved I had ever seen them that week and our playground was never cleaner!
Fortunately for me, T-ball goers and dog walkers do not bring beer cans with them so I was not faced with any awkward moments of saying, “Drop the Bud Light!” I do not want to be fired for teaching a “minor in possession”.
I wish I could say the same about the streets that line my neighborhood. They are littered with the occasional empty beer can and individual serving bottles of Sutter Home. But what I see everyday is NIPS….lots and lots of NIPS!
Surprised to see such an increase in the single serving containers, I asked my friends and neighbors if they had noticed it too. They agreed, stating that they had noticed the same thing while out on walks or long runs. Do you remember Kathy from Monday’s post? She said that she counted over 200 nip bottles as she passed her time on a 20 mile run. Crazy right? A twenty mile run!
So, what can we do to “nip” this problem in the bud? State House Representative Randy Hunt of Sandwich has filed a Bill (House Bill H389) to have a 5 cent deposit on the single shot beverage and there is a petition out there for people to sign to show their support. Should I be a lobbyist too?
Since I have decided to only take on one new thing at a time, and for me it is this blog, I will leave lobbying work to someone with more free time. In the meantime, I will go to my prize box, pull out a pair of the coveted gloves and reward myself by taking a long walk and gather as many of these treasures as I can find.
What about you? How will you acknowledge Earth Day? Will you plant a tree or make an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle? Will you sacrifice a pair of gloves for the sake of our environment and help me “nip” this problem?