At this point, you may be thinking you've heard all you need to hear about the trash problem we have. Yet, if you're unsure about whether you can make a difference, I'm here to tell you, you can. Let's talk about the scope of our problem and what each of us can do to fix it.
According to the NOAA, billions of pounds of trash make their way into our planet's oceans each year. So, wherever you're living on this planet, trash is effecting an ecosystem near you.
As humans, it is our responsibility to pick up after ourselves. Yet, there seems to be a lack of interest or inability to pick up after ourselves. As a result, trash is interfering with our ecosystems, killing animals, and gravely affecting our planet. Hence the intense need for change, a change you can be part of starting today.
In this article, Colony Cleanup shares three reasons to help motivate you to start picking up trash, even trash that isn't yours.
So, you don't live anywhere near an ocean, and you're asking, "How does the trash problem affect me?" Well, I'm glad you asked.
As you may know, plastic takes thousands of years to decay. Therefore, as fish and other marine animals eat toxic plastic, they can pass the toxins onto the animals or humans that consume them.
The same is true for trash that's left behind in our forests and mountains. As more animals mistake plastic for food or consume animals ingesting plastic, more toxins will make their way into our food chain. In other words, the toxins from plastics can make their way onto your dinner plate through the foods you eat, regardless of where you live.
Motivation #1. Small pieces of plastic are leading to big problems.
Many people think there isn't anything we can do to fix the enormous problem we're facing. However, the NOAA says otherwise. Any effort makes a difference in one way or another.
It seems that much of the problem is in the form of microplastics, small pieces of plastic. Often, it's the 5 millimeters or less in size that get left behind for the animals to find.
Recycling your plastic bottles after your walk, jog, or hike will keep millions of microplastic pieces out of our oceans. Likewise, if you see small pieces of plastic when you're out and about, pick them up and discard them in a recycle bin. Spreading awareness that even the little bits of trash are harmful can bring about change. As a result, as we join our individual efforts together, we create a more significant impact for good.
Motivation #2. Picking up trash is a small task with a big impact, not the other way around.
A common belief is that the trash problem is so big that nothing we do can really make a difference. However, shifting our mindset to recognizing that the small task gets us a step closer to the solution can be an excellent motivation to change.
As humans, when we feel that an innate sense that we're doing something good, it motivates us to do it again. If we approach the trash problem as one too big to conquer, picking up trash along the trail may feel useless. However, shifting our focus to the belief that "Every little bit helps." leads us to believe that we're making a difference every time we collect a piece of trash.
At Colony Cleanup, we know this shift in focus can serve as motivation and lead to change. How? Because we've participated and organized many cleanups projects and we see people get excited to do their part.
As a result of watching people become eager to do more, we created the ultimate trail bag that can be used for many things, including picking-up trash. It's a nylon bag with a simple yet effective way to fill it. So, whether you're on a jog, hike, or walk with your dog, taking this bag along is convenient. Likewise, it ensures you have somewhere to put the trash, instead of carrying it in your hands the rest of the way.
Our bag is how we fund our projects. Furthermore, it helps bring awareness to others of how easy and painless collecting garbage can be.
Motivation #3. Some won't accept their responsibility to pick up trash, so we need you to fill in.
Of course, you're not personally responsible for another's plastic bottle or candy wrapper. However, knowing you can make a difference by filling in for those who don't seem to care, can be your motivation to pick up what's been left behind.
Those of us who understand the importance of this movement are willing to fight the adverse effects that humanity is having on our planet. Colony Cleanup needs your help in our efforts to pick up after those who won't. We want you to join us.
Did we just use the word fun and trash clean-up together in the same sentence? Yes, yes, we did. Unless you've experienced it for yourself, you may not believe us, but yes, our cleanup events are fun. Feel free to ask any of our Colony Cleanup community members about their experiences. They can tell you how fun and organized our cleanup events have been.
Our first organized Colony Cleanup event was in Salt Lake City, in 2020. We had many of our incredible neighbors show up to offer their support. Our cleanup projects provide a way to meet new people who share in our same common goal. Plus, you're getting in some exercise and possibly improving your mental health too.
Are you interested in participating in a Colony Cleanup project? Would you like to know more about our Trail Bag?
Join the Colony Cleanup Community - Check out our page on Facebook!