Making the world (I mean the neighborhood) a better place

So as I mentioned several days ago, I’ve started taking longs walks with the dogs in the neighborhood.  I do it for exercise (both me and them), but also because I want to feel like I’m exploring the ‘hood a little too.  There’s nothing like getting out of the house and being part of the world around you.  It didn’t take long for my walks to take on a dual-purpose however.  (Let it never be said of me that I don’t find ways of taking multi-tasking to a new level.)

Anyways, anyone who has visited Philadelphia is aware of our teensy-widdle problem with litter.  They don’t call it Filthadelphia for nothing, after all.  Thankfully our new mayor has made it a top priority to tackle the issue.  Now Philly has solar powered trash cans, dedicated cleanup days, and at the VERY least publicly acknowledged the issue.  Ever since I’ve moved here, it’s been a trait of Philly’s that I’ve found particularly irritating.  And because of that I realized I should do something about it…no matter how small.  Therefore now when I am going on my long nightly walk, I take along a couple plastic grocery bags and gather litter along the way.  Then once they’re full, I’ll toss them in the public garbage can.  Even though I realize I’m not making a huge dent in the problem, it feels great to know that I’m at least doing something.  (And hey, I’m finding a new purpose for those pesky plastic bags.  Even though I take a cloth bag with me to the store, somehow I always manage to come back with at least one.)  I want my block to stay clean…and also the blocks around me.  It just feels better when you take pride in where you live by trying to keep it beautiful.  Who knows?  Maybe someone else will be inspired to pick up trash as well.

Lately I’ve been thinking alot about the state of our world…and wishing it were a better/safer/cleaner/nicer place to live.  I realize one individual can’t change the world, but each of us has to start somewhere.  So…start by saying hi to your neighbors.  Read to your kids.   Choose to support locally-owned shops.  And maybe if you see some litter on the ground, stop and pick it up.

Photo credit: It’s Only the Trash via flickr by Ian W.