To be quite honest, I have never been an environmentally conscious person. Even after all these years out in the woods it just never occurred to me that littering was such a big problem. I have now come to believe that people who are labeled as environmentalists get a bad rap as extremists. We should all care about our environment and our world and about each other.
My company is very concerned about the environment and encouraged us to participate in an Earth Day event this year. Not being able to find anything suitable for my group in South Carolina, I decided to organize a garbage walk in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.
Those of you who have either visited our lovely city or who live here know how clean its downtown can be but even with all the loving care the city gives it we still managed to find garbage to pick up. This event turned out to be about more than picking up the garbage. We had become ambassadors for Earth Day as we greeted the passersby who thanked us for picking up the garbage.
On a later walk near where I live, I started to really look at the litter on South Carolina roads. Fast food wrappers, bottles, paper of all kinds, cigarette butts everywhere. Now I can’t even drive between Spartanburg on I-85 and Greenville without being outraged over the mess thrown out the car windows by people driving down the road. It makes me angry to see my adopted State which I love treated so poorly. And the final straw was the naming of South Carolina as the dirtiest State in the U.S. this year. Wow is all I can say.
This has lead me to a little political activism as in attending a political rally and writing the Governor of South Carolina who did write me back by the way. But we all know that government can’t fix everything and we shouldn’t expect it to. The people have to step up and work for change ourselves, we need to be engaged in the problems surrounding us rather than waiting for someone to do it for us. Just like life. Nobody is going to pull you up by your bootstraps and make your life better for you. You have to do it for yourself.
What I know is this. That each of us can do our part to make the world a little better place.
I urge you to take a walk wherever you live. Look around you and really see. It doesn’t have to be about litter. But once you see, you may start to really care about something. It’s time to care.