Spring is lovely. Even I, someone who considers herself quite indoorsy, can appreciate it.
I like to take advantage of the tolerable temperatures and get my boys outside for walks down our county road.
Tall East Texas pine trees cast shade over us from either side. The grass is speckled with purple Phlox. Yellow Lance leaf tower above them and bow to the passing breeze. Among the flowers, the sun gleams from … an aluminum can.
Yes, it’s not all picturesque.
Litterbugs have marred the roadside, town parks and city sidewalks.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – The Lorax
It’s not enough that we don’t litter. It accumulates anyway. And if no one does anything about it – nothing gets done.
As a lesson to my boys and a favor to the Earth and to fulfill a selfish desire to no longer see an abundance of discarded beer cans along my scenic drive, we set out on an afternoon walk with garbage bags in hand.
To keep it interesting, one bag was for aluminum cans only. We would take the haul to the recycling center where aluminum cans bring in $.35 per pound.
The odds of our efforts paying for an ice cream treat afterwards were not high but amusing, still. That was the goal.
My kids made a competition of finding the most cans. They raced to each glint of aluminum reflecting from the ditch. And a guessing game became of what it may be worth.
Once finished, they turned over a nearly full kitchen trash bag to a man at the recycling center. He cut the bag and each can clanged onto a metal conveyor. They inched up and over; falling onto a scale.
Without a word, the man noted the weight and handed the slip of paper to my son with a smile.
Five less pounds of garbage on our street.
Five more pounds of aluminum that otherwise wouldn’t have been recycled.
And $1.75 in the piggy bank to boot.
Sure, I had to cover the ice cream, but it was worth it.
My three boys, in a short time, made a big impact on the space near us. It impacted them as well; days later they are still admiring their accomplishment each time we pass by.
Earth Day is April 22. Celebrate by committing to an earth-friendly act.
For more information and inspiration visit earthday.org