Archive for February, 2009


Week 20 – Does it truly hurt when you litter?

February 22, 2009

Washington State enacted tough anti-litter laws and unveiled their “Litter and it will hurt” campaign in 2002. Today Lori and I are disgusted with the litter10littered state of our highways and green places. Interstate-5 between Tacoma and Seattle looks like a junkyard, it’s quite sad.

We realize that our state is in the middle of a huge budget deficit but can’t we find a way to motivate people and utilize community service crews to eradicate the mess left behind by others?

I could only find Washington State Department of Ecology statistics for 2007.  Based on these numbers (6,283,710 pounds of litter picked up), I know our tax dollars are making a difference.  But I wonder if in addition to the hefty fines dealt out to litterers, maybe we could also impose mandatory community service as well? Make those who are caught throwing garbage from their cars pay the fine but also put in some time cleaning up after other slobs.

Lori, Abby, and yours truly revisited a beautiful stretch of roadway on Hartstene Island this morning and were dismayed to fill our buckets within 10 minutes. Beer bottles (mostly Corona for some reason), fast food wrappers and bags, and a puzzling number of condoms littered the area we cleaned in Week 7.

We continue to happily improve the environment and hope others will do the same.


Week 19 – Love’s Labour is not Lost

February 14, 2009

“It is only when we are aware of the earth and of the earth as poetry that we truly live. ”   Henry Beston


Two buckets and fifteen minutes later Ballard is a cleaner placeBen and I want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day.


Brenda from Everett, WA

February 12, 2009

brendaThanks to Brenda for sending pictures of a recycling program she started in her workplace! Brenda put recycle bins around the office and when they fill up she takes them home and recycles.

Way to help make the world a cleaner place Brenda. And thank you for sharing your accomplishment with us.



Week 18 – Alki Revisited

February 8, 2009

Ben and I decided to revisit the spot where we began our Bucket Brigade 18 weeks ago.  We went to the same place on Alki Beach, not expecting much. 

Unfortunately, the area was dirtier and it took half the time to fill our buckets.  As we walked up and down the sidewalk Ben told me about a litter website he had visited.  Someone had written that he started picking up litter but it was just so much and so unending that he gave up.

Ben wrote back saying that if everyone did just a little tiny bit every day or every week or whenever they can spare a little time, it will make a difference.  I added that I hoped that when people see us picking up rubbish that they might think twice about throwing their garbage on the ground and walk those extra feet to the many trash cans around. 

 We believe our efforts are not in vain….there are times when frustration seeps in but it’s fleeting.  The good outweighs the bad and it does feel good to make a difference.  We drive past areas where we recently picked up litter and we can see the difference.  We look at each other and smile and say “we did that!”  Other areas we drive past we look at each other and mark that in our memories to come back again….real soon.


Week 17 – Fife’s a bitch!

February 2, 2009

It was getting dark and we were an hour away from West Seattle…and to add salt to the wound, the Super Bowl was almost half over.  Ben suggested a quick pick up where he works, which is Fife, Washington

In his route to work every day Ben passes countless areas of enormous litter.  One of the most annoying areas is one of the off ramps into Fife which has to start his day in the city without sidewalks.  Numerous casinos, car lots and warehouses scatter throughout and timg_00401he “Tacoma Aroma” that wafts through on those especially windy days is oh-so-pleasant.

Of course there is a brighter note to Fife; it has recently been highlighted on the Stephen Colbert Report where he compared Dick’s burgers to the Pick Quick’s burgers (Special note from Ben: Pick Quick blows Dick’s away!).  Also, we learned that Fife is a city located in the number one rhubarb producing County in the U.S.

What Stephen failed to mention was the infamous Poodle Dog Restaurant.  Which according to the sign has Good Foo!  I’m almost afraid to ask what the special is.