and the kids get unbuckled. You grab the ice chest that is full of lunch and a few cold beverages, and the kids grab the fishing poles and life vests. You head over to the picnic table and set everything down and then notice the empty beer can and the dirty diaper. You quickly dispose of it before the spouse sees it and gets grossed out.
You shake it off and choke down your lunch which now doesn’t sit quite as well as you hoped. You grab the bait and the poles and head down to the dock with the kids. The water is calm, the scene is beautiful and serene. Ahhhh. That is until you stumble on a chunk of fishing line and step in a used styrofoam bait container. Sweet.
Serenity Now! The day you planned is unraveling. A few minutes later your son hooks his sisters hat on a cast attempt. Now she’s crying, you’re mad, and your son has taken to eating a worm. You had so much hope for today, for the family time and the memories made. Now the wheels have completely come off.
And the person or persons responsible for recoloring your world? For obliviously polluting the environment and making their laziness or lack of caring your problem, where are they? Down the road, not a care, not a clue.
What we want to do is threefold:
- We want to work to actively educate our family, friends, neighbors, and most importantly, all those that we share the outdoors with that whether we feel it or not, there is a great cost and negative impact to litter, in all it’s forms. By being responsible and modeling removal and prevention of litter, we can put social pressure on others around us to help address the issue in their circles of influence.
- We want to be very active via social media so we can impact not just the rivers, streams, and wilderness areas of Iowa, but around the country. We need to try to reverse the school of thought that many people seem to have about litter that “somebody else will take care of it.” I would love to have people share “before and after” photos on our page of messes you find, and how that same area looks after the area has been cleaned. I believe the more we share this via social media, the more “peer pressure” and awareness we can get out there, helping to stem the tide of this problem.
- We want to encourage everybody to help undo the damage that has already been done. Whether throwing some items in your kayak or boat when out fishing, taking a bag with you when you walk around the lake and picking up a few items, or picking up a piece of trash when walking across the parking lot into the grocery store, every item that is re-collected and disposed of or recycled is one more that doesn’t end up in the stomach of a fish, bird, or deer.
Thank you in advance for helping to make a difference in this way. While you may not be part of the problem, you are definitely part of the solution. Take care, enjoy the outdoors.