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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Lewiston, Idaho, USA

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Lewiston, Idaho, USA


Registered: November 2016
City/Town/Province: Lewiston
Posts: 1
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I once read: If every person picked up just one piece of litter today, there would be over 300 million fewer pieces of litter. So my Apprentice Ecologist quest begins. For over 10 years I have picked up cigarette butts, plastic bottles and discarded fast food packaging in my Lewiston, Idaho neighborhood. The area where I collect trash is hilly with sections interspersed with houses and open fields. These field are covered in thick grasses, blackberry bushes and noxious weeds. The trash loves to hide deep down at the base of these plants which can make for adventurous clamouring trash collecting. A pitch fork works well for the prickly blackberry bush which are very reluctant to let go of it’s hold on the trash stuck to its sticky branches and a telescoping trash grabber can really save your back from all the bending on the rest of the surfaces.
If I had a dollar for every bag of trash I have collected, I would be rich. But it’s not about becoming rich or seeking notoriety. I like doing it for free and I like doing it anonymously. I like the idea of all my fellow citizens driving down the litter free road. Every time I am out picking up trash, someone stops their car, rolls down their window and thanks me. This community fellowship fills me with a pleasant sense of fulfillment. Trash may not have monetary value, but picking up trash can improve your life because in the big scheme of things, it is the small acts that we partake in that really matter. And while some would say picking up trash is normally stereotyped as dirty and gross, I find satisfaction in bending down to pick up the litter and then clambering down into the field to pick up the next piece of litter.
I enjoy improving the cleanliness of my city’s beautiful streets and helping the environment. When my city is clean and well kept, the atmosphere is friendlier. Clean streets provide the citizens of my city with a sense that things are not falling apart, that society is going to be ok and there is order in our municipal government and the world. It has been said that cleanliness is contagious and if cleaning my street leads to others cleaning their streets, then we are on our way to the 300 million fewer pieces of litter. I find that directing monthly trash collections works better than quarterly pickups in terms of the amount of litter that can accumulate. I am a take charge kind of leader. I post pleas for help using social media. “Free Starbucks coffee for friends and family recruits to lend a hand cleaning our environment today .” I find there is a direct correlation in offering incentives (Starbucks, Red Bull Blasts, donuts) and an increase in the number of recruits who come out. I try to schedule litter collections on sunny forecasted days but if it is raining the day of the month that I have picked, usually zero recruits will materialize. On these days, that one person who stops and rolls down their window to give thanks really lifts my spirit. As supervisor, I provide the cleanup uniforms of orange vests, gloves and trash bags for my recruits. After our bags are filled with litter, together we separate the recyclables and donate to our local recycling program. Being a recruiter and coordinator for these monthly trash collections has grown and developed my leadership skills and has inspired me to take an even more active role in environmental protection when I enroll in college.
Sometimes it’s just me picking up the discarded pizza box and empty beer can and that's okay. It takes commitment each month to carry out my service and I take a lot of pride in my street after it is debris free. Why pick up trash? I impact my community by picking up trash every month. I love the feeling of my pristine neighborhood and doing good for our environment and that is why I am a trash collector. The Apprentice Ecologist project has instilled in me a newfound respect for the men and women who clean up after us each and every day. It's amazing how this dirty job has cleansed my mind and soul and taught me that it’s not a thankless job, it’s a job for me that is not trashy at all.
Date: November 28, 2016 Views: 2641 File size: 27.4kb : 240 x 320
Hours Volunteered: 72
Volunteers: 3
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 12-17
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 12
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 32.66
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Registered: December 2016
City/Town/Province: Harbel
Posts: 1
December 5, 2016 3:37pm

Thanks, It's amazing.