Photo Friday | You Can't Make This Up

Last Saturday, I participated as a one-lady team in Project Front Yard's annual Trash Bash. While burning calories and working on my step goal, I soaked up some sunshine and filled a bag with all kinds of litter.

While there were many teams that participated in the Trash Bash and collected way more than I did, it was still a thought-provoking morning in terms of the impact you can make as an individual.

In only one hour on a few streets, I filled an entire kitchen-size trash bag with items like drink bottles, fast food containers, napkins (y'all, the napkins that morning!), straws, cigarette butts, a shattered dinner plate, one slipper, chip bags, paper and half of a pair of reading glasses. These are all items no longer littering our sidewalks and our community, no longer posing a threat to people walking or riding bikes, and that won't end up in the Vermilion River.

Just remember: Every single person makes a difference.

This might have been my favorite piece of litter collected, for the sheer irony. A cigarette pack that uses its entire back panel to talk about respect for the earth and recycling. Yes okay, and I found it on a sidewalk by a high school. Next to a cigarette butt. This would be an excellent example of greenwashing. There's not much respect for the earth AT ALL from cigarette companies. Or from many people who smoke. I am also curious how using organic ingredients makes these cigarettes any less toxic.

This weekend, as we gear up for local Earth Day celebrations and for Earth Day itself on April 22, remember to do what this hilariously ironic cigarette pack says: Respect the Earth.

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