I have always thought that if something bothers me, I need to take action to change it.
This thought pattern is up front and center every day while I drive around Los Angeles. Yes, I’m paying attention to the political race, the state-sponsored bigotry in states like Mississippi and North Carolina, racism, the hungry and the homeless and the huge amount of kids living in poverty in the US to name a few.
Yet one thing that I come across constantly and feel like I do have the power to change is the vast amount of litter throughout LA. No matter where I drive, I see it.
Not that big of a deal? Maybe not. Some would say there is nothing I can do, that in a county where there are close to 11 million people, there is going to be litter.
To accept this would mean that I would need to think that most people who live here don’t give a shit. They don’t give a shit about litter that makes an area look terrible and litter that has an affect on the environment and wildlife.
From my favorite beach to hiking trails, entrances to the highway and along the street in whichever part of the city I might be driving in, litter is everywhere.
As I think of this and of everything else there is going on in the world, I think of little victories. What does a little victory around litter look like? Maybe seeing the flowers on the side of the road instead of litter. We are in southern California after all where there is an abundance of natural beauty. Maybe it’s watching the dolphins of of Zuma beach knowing that the bag of litter we cleaned up that morning was not going to make it into the ocean. By the way, the Algalita Foundation here in SoCal estimates that 80% of marine debris comes from human activities on land! Maybe it’s being at the on ramp cleaning up litter just to show others that, like them, there are people who give a shit about where they live.
I see myself making a trip to Home Depot for garbage bags and gloves. Nothing ever changes if we don’t take action.
As I create a plan on what I can do to clean up LA, remember that there is metaphorical litter everywhere. From you state legislature to city hall to those who torture animals and spread hate among humans, there is enough of that type of garbage out there to keep us all busy.
Thanks for reading!