Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One Stretch of Road


It's interesting how, after you start a blog on a particular subject, you might feel as though you're upping the ante on yourself. If people across the world can tune-in to your feed, shouldn't you be putting your money where your mouth is and taking your cause just a tiny step further than normal?

I think that's why I was inspired, one weekend afternoon while Nicole and I were returning from errands on our bikes, to stop along a small stretch of a nearby road (which so happens to be near a nice walking path) and collect some of the recyclable trash littering the side of the road.

With more people driving and the high-schoolers out for summer break, I guess it didn't surprise me that we were able to fill our bike baskets fairly quickly–in fact, we could have made a number of trips hauling the junk away. It was as if someone had hosted a party on that stretch of road: there was Coors Light and Bud Light, plus Sprite, Gatorade, Lipton Tea, Arizona Tea, Coca-Cola and Monster for the designated drivers. The most disgusting part, though...brace yourselves...was a bottle that had been filled with what was most definitely urine. How's that for dedication? (Without gloves, you can bet I was later scrubbing my hands like there was no tomorrow.)

And I know I don't need to remind you that there's junk EVERYWHERE. I used to go up to the northwest corner of Illinois where it was less crowded and more scenic—and even there, my morning runs turned into walks as I trudged from one dirty roadside bottle to the next.

It makes me think, one goal I'd like to set for myself this summer is to perhaps "unofficially" adopt a stretch of a given road near us. I suppose I could walk it every night (or as frequently as time allows) and try to keep it clean. Readers, feel free to do the same...but I strongly suggest you do so only after investing in a pair of thick rubber gloves.

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