This evening my husband and I and our two kids took a bike ride up to the park. We live in a community that has a park, so it is a one mile ride up to the park (winding through the community). One our one mile bike ride (two mile round trip, but the same area being covered there and back), we were amazed to see how much garbage littered our beautiful community.
Take a look at the pictures. This is the garbage we found on this short bike ride. We gathered it all up so that we could bring it home to recycle. We mainly found plastic bottles from soda, water, and juice. A plastic bottle can be recycled, but when it isn't it takes at least 450 years (some sources say that it is indefinite). Plastic never actually goes away. It merely breaks down into microplastics, releasing chemicals as it breaks down, and eventually enters our waterways.
I know many people don't stop to pick up trash as we did. They feel like it's not their job, it's not their trash, they didn't throw it down. This is a problem. It is not likely that the people who threw the trash down will ever come back to reclaim it and be responsible with it. Plus, it was their trash to begin with, but as soon as they threw it down and walked away it became all of ours trash. It clutters our communities, cities, state, and eventually our world. So it becomes all of our job to pick up trash in our communities.
Believe it or not, a bottle that lays in a park in your community will eventually make it out to the ocean. And our oceans are turning to plastic. There is so much plastic garbage floating in our oceans that it is killing marine animals and turning our oceans into plastic soup (read about the garbage patches).
This morning I was listening to Nickelback's song called "If everyone cared." Once I had all this trash in my bike basket it came to mind. What if everyone cared about being responsible with their garbage? What if everyone picked up the trash they saw laying around their community? What if everyone made a concerted effort to recycle? What if all parents taught their children to be responsible with their grabage and to pick up what others have littered? What would our world be like if everyone cared?
You can check out Nickelback's awesome and inspiring video to that song here: