Posts Tagged ‘Litter’

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The Bucket Stops Here

May 23, 2010

Dear Friends,

We write to you today at the end of a journey. During the garbage strike in Seattle we took a break from our weekly ritual and in doing so realized that at some point our litter campaign had to come to an end. With an impressive total of 148 buckets of litter collected in 74 straight weeks, we now pass the bucket to anyone out there who would like to take over where we left off.

We had plenty of fun and are happy to know that we made a difference and if anyone would like to pickup where we left off we’d be happy to hand this blog over to you. Please use the “Email Ben and Lori” link on the right column of this page with your request.

Thanks to all the Bucket Heads who pitched in from all around the country, we were so happy to hear about others out there who also care about our environment and were willing to get out and do something about it. While we won’t be continuing on a regular basis, don’t be surprised if you see a post every now and again as we still hate litter and may not always be able to pass by without doing something!

Until then,

Ben and Lori

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Week 25 – ‘Tired’ of Litter

March 30, 2009

Kudos to the Washington State Department of Ecology.  Their numerous bags on the side of I-5 made our 5 hour car ride yesterday more enjoyable.  We love how they turned their bags around towards the cars so that we could see who was responsible for these good deeds.  We also hoped that passers-by would see the mounds of litter, the litter still yet on the ground and think twice before throwing their garbage out their window. 

We also saw the mountains of tires piled up next to the bags and bags of rubbish.  It’s amazing how people felt no remorse leaving their giant tires all over the sides of the road.  Notices of fines are placed up and down the highway but obviously people believe that they can get away with littering.  Without repercussions, there will be little change in attitudes.  How difficult would it have been to retrieve these tires since they were already parked there?

Ben had to get two new tires today and happily paid the disposal fees for the old tires.  Shouldn’t the litterers also be responsible in disposing of their tires as well?  Unfortunately without adequate watch, minimal fines and the difficulty in catching them in the act is too much for our ‘tired’ State.

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Week 24 – Spring Cleaning

March 22, 2009

The Spring Equinox falls on March 20th for this part of the world.  Days will grow noticably longer and (hopefully soon) warmer.  Animals mate and bear their young during the spring, reminding us of ancient celebrations ensuring fertiility and growth.

We in turn get that nesting urge by participating in different versions of “Spring Cleaning.”  Garage sales are growing in abundance and we encourage everyone to go through their belongings and donate to various organizations of their choosing (ex. Northwest Center). 

Our version of Spring Cleaning was to visit a spot that epitomized Spring and young love.  We went to an area near the airport where people go to watch the airplanes take off and land.  It was fun to fill our 49th and 50th buckets with so much excitement in the air.

Speaking of entertainment, we picked up a lot of alcohol containers, fast food wrappers and the occasional empty box of condoms.  Ah, young love…Seattle’s version of Spring Break.

Traditionally, during this time of year our ancestors felt the urge to clean their homes…we take this opportunity to clean our homes as well, inside and outside.

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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.

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Week 13 – We’re not out of the woods yet!

January 4, 2009

Like Hansel and Gretel we followed the trail of Styrofoam peanuts up and down a nearby street.  Pretty pink and green packing material still swirling from Christmas past.

Waste Management finally picked up the garbage in our neighborhood yesterday.  “Yesterday” means three weeks of piled garbage in front and in back of homes in West Seattle.  This meant that Ben and I had plenty of litter to gather in our own neck of the woods. 

We had so much to pick up that after we filled our buckets in minutes we decided to go after two more.  The sidewalks strewn with trash from hurried garbage picker-uppers and whatever must have flown off their already bulging trucks.

Who is to blame?  Mother Nature?  Our mayor for lack of organization?  Our neighbors for being too lazy to go to the dump and just continued piling until they were bursting at the seams?  The companies that continue to make excessive excelsior that is not biodegradable?  Or us…the people who continue to purchase items from these companies without voicing our concerns?  We have a voice…and we need to use them.

Speaking of voices, Ben just yelled “It’s snowing again!”

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Week 11 – Winter of Our Discontent

December 21, 2008

It is that time where the pure white snow turns to dirty dishwater brown.  It is that time where the exuberance of more snow on the horizon turns to apathy.  It is that time where flurries dancing off rooftops to sidewalks below bring about groans of more snow to shovel. 

Ben had to talk me into getting bundled up to look for litter this weekend.  I wore my glasses with hope that the sideways snow wouldn’t go into my eyes.  Then I realized that if I used my scarf my glasses fogged up immediately.  Love of the snow turning quickly to loathing. 

Our intent was to get a half a bucket…or one bucket at the most.  Ben spotted broken tire chains on the road.  I found a coffee cup at the bus stop half covered in snow.  Just as we turned back we spotted a bag of trash completely strewn across the sidewalk. 

The snow has made it impossible for any City of Seattle garbage pick up this week and some random raccoon or other animal must have gotten into someone’s rubbish container.  As we pick up the mess a neighbor shouts out a “Thank You,” which makes us feel a tad bit warmer.

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Week 8 – Lincoln Park…or Linkin Park?

November 30, 2008

“In the shadow of the day…will embrace the world in grey”

It was a cold and foggy morning… Okay, it wasn’t very cold, but it was quite foggy and the perfect morning for a walk through Lincoln Park in West Seattle.  The mist through the trees was quite beautiful and though img_5336we scoured the park we found almost no trash, which made us quite proud. 

We meandered toward the beach where Ben finally found litter hidden in the brush under massive amounts of leaves.  An old Olympia Beer can and another beer can not yet opened!  Lincoln Park is truly magical.  Thank goodness he found the stash because my bucket consisted of one can, a few granola wrappers and a couple of bags of dog poo which I intended to drop off at the nearest trash can and NOT make it a part of my bucket-o-trash.

Ben walked the beach as I walked the path heading towards the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock.  Joggers, moms with strollers, and many dog-walkers as well, all talking about the many events going on in their lives.  We, on the other hand, would shout out the occasional, “Oh, I found a good one!”

This led to groups of people peering into our buckets to see what we were collecting on the beach.  At first when they saw the trash they had a disappointed look.  Then their look turned to admiration and a “Thank you for doing that!” type of vocal praise.  I immediately became embarrassed over the praise and just muttered a “oh, it’s nothing.” 

Ben on the other hand took the opportunity to talk about our blog and gave people our web address and encouraged them to pick up a bucket themselves once a week and talked about how fun and easy it could be.  One lady even said she always carried an empty bag along her walks “just in case” she found anything to pick up…very encouraging. 

I’ll have to follow Ben’s lead and not be so shy in marketing our desire to be green and give back to our communities.  I’ll channel the rock star wannabe in all of us and promote…promote…promote.  The next time you see us we may be passing out business cards!