Posts Tagged ‘trash’


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


Week 28 – Can’t see the forest for the trees

April 19, 2009

I always wondered what “can’t see the forest for the trees” meant.  Was the water too murky, the path too hard to find?  Maybe it meant that if you didn’t pay attention you could lose yourself in the chaos and excitement…all wrong.

It means that you lose sight of the original focus and you may dwell on the sparkly foliage in front of you, or in our case the trash only at our feet.img_0297

Ben and I have worked on that same trashy hill three weeks now.  We keep hoping to make a difference in that spot.  It’s particularly precarious to pick-up there (love those alliterations) which doesn’t make it fun.  But we see no light at the end of the tunnel.  Massive trash was hidden just a few feet from where we started.  It took less than 5 minutes to fill our buckets

But what that saying really means is that it shouldn’t matter where we pick up and how many times it takes to see a little bit of difference.  The big picture remains the same…to clean up our world.


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.


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!


Week 7 – Dog Day Afternoon

November 23, 2008

Ben’s daughter Abby (who is fourteen going on 40), was held hostage by the Bucket Brigade this weekend.  We set off for errands and just happened to have our buckets with us at the time.  What a coincidence!  We picked up litter in a primarily wooded area on a winding road with cars occasionally whizzing by. Hartstene Island is teeming with tame deer, goats, dogs, etc., which scare and amaze this Seattle city girl.

Before we reached our destination we spotted a few cans on the side of the road and Ben pulled over while I jumped out and quickly retrieved them for our buckets.  A yellow dog came bounding after me as I quickly jumped back into my seat in the nick of time.  His teeth exposed and heading right for my open window and probably my jugular.  I screamed of course, which is expectant of someone who is just about to get their face eaten off by a rabid cujo-like dog

Ben sped off into the wind…protecting his beloved Lori as Abby yelled from the back seat, “Wasn’t that the img_53031cutest dog in the world? He totally licked my hand!”  Maybe he wasn’t so rabid after all.  Abby said he wasn’t actually exposing his knife-like teeth but that’s what dogs look like when they smile.  She also said that when their tail goes back and forth in a swinging type manner that is actually called “wagging” and is “supposedly” a friendly gesture. 

Later as we wandered along the side picking up rubbish ever-so-sweetly, we came upon a dead dog on the  side of the road.  Oh no.  We looked for our yellow dog on the way home but Ben assured Abby that he was happily at home with his family.  She begrudgingly believed him.

Two buckets, one dead dog, one traumatized teenager and fifteen minutes later we were done.  We were convinced that Abby would surely revolt the next time we suggested picking up rubbish…ATTICA! ATTICA!


Week 6 – Waste, Industrial or Other-Wise

November 16, 2008

Ben’s parents took us out to a dinner last night to a quaint little Mexican restaurant in Shelton. Whether it was the green chili sauce that he poured all over his burrito (so I wouldn’t steal a bite), or maybe a touch of a stomach virus but poor Ben spent all morning looking greener than the hot sauce.

This little bit of news helped decide where we would fill our buckets. We decided on the West Seattle Industrial Area for two reasons; it was near our house so we could run home quickly if Ben “pooped” out… img_52862and we figured it would take all of one minute to fill our buckets.

It actually took five minutes and two buckets to complete our mission. I wasn’t sure if the refuse center around the corner had anything to do with the vast amounts of waste and debris. Did the rubbish fly off the Waste Management trucks as they went to the dump, or did passers-by toss their rubbish out the window and say, “close enough?”

We drove away thinking how easy it was to fill our buckets today but as we looked back we realized it would require multiple trips before we could even put a dent in that particular area. Now there’s an offer we can’t “refuse!”


Week 4 ~ Com-post with us!

November 2, 2008

Out of the ashes of the road the great pumpkin rises!

Click on our poll to vote for this year’s winner of our Pumpkin Contest.  I won last year with a pumpkin displaying a bubbling, bulging eyeball which all ten trick-or-treaters loved.  Since we had only six trick-or-treaters this year we decided to let our readers and fellow Bucket Heads decide.  These two pictures are all we have left of our Pumpkins.  Why?  Because the second the porch light turned off Ben went-a-smashing to produce compost fodder.  The evil glint in his eye was reminiscent of Jason or Freddie.

The next day as we went hunting for garbage we found  a street that looked like Leatherface from benkinthe Texas Chain Massacre went on a rampage.  The toilet-paper tricksters and snack-size litterers found their way to a West Seattle street where the residents actually shouted to Ben, “Thank you!” as he unwound the Halloween carnage.

The best part of the day was leaving a tiny bit of room in our buckets for the smashed pumpkins on the road.  Ben giggled ala Igor as he drooled over the dead pumpkin innards and shouted…”food for my compost!

So don’t forget to click on your favorite pumpkin and also, don’t forget to vote on election day on Tuesday.  If someone can get as excited as Ben about cleaning the road, the least we can do is get excited about someone cleaning up the mess the last administration has left.  Yep, time to clean house…the White House.

4 weeks and 8 buckets later we’re carving a new road…sans pumpkins!