Our regular Earth Day activity is to walk up and down our country road a few days the week before Earth Day and pick up trash. The boys and I pick up cans, bottles, and wrappers while bundled up from the annual spring wind. Our youngest will sit in the wagon marked with a tall flag to alert drivers of the youngins, and our oldest will march along, run down ditches, up to the edges of the fields, reach into drainage pipes and more, scouring for trash. We recycle the aluminum cans which the boys get to keep the money from, recycled what we can, and dispose of the rest. The boys are excited by the pile of trash. Secretly my heart is sad because I know this area was cleaned last year by us. However, I know we are doing good. However, now something really amazing has happened, litter isn’t so scary.
I used to walk by trash, ignore bags, step on wrappers until we started this Earth Day tradition. Now, trash isn’t so easy to ignore. It’s just trash, accidentally blown out of someone’s car window, or not. But, all in all, it’s really just something that was purchased, used mere moments by some normal person, and then mistakenly arrived on the ground. So, I started picking up trash every time we were at the park. Who wants a yucky playground for the kids? Then in the parking lot on the way from the store to the car, it’s just a little extra bend. Now, we pick it up everywhere. We’ve done the forest clean ups, but it’s really just become part of our everyday lives. The kids see cans, we pick it up. We see a blowing napkin, we pick it up. We don’t step over the trash, we just pick it up.
We are spending this Earth Day in Nashville, and had the awesome opportunity to visit their celebration today. Would you believe we got to use trash to make art? (Hah- trash was scary, then just trash, now it’s art:) Frist Art Museum had a display out where the children would use “trash” and make an art collage. It was beautiful! Look for it at the Frist Art Museum this May.
Have a Wonderful Earth Day.