During our week of Daily Litter Walks, Route B is cleaned Tuesday and Thursday of each week. For years we never walked this long street, but added it to our routes in the last couple of months.

Funny that the people on this particular street litter more than the people on any of the other streets we cover. Just as discovered in NYC with the broken window idea from The Atlantic Magazine (March 1982), this street looks worse than others in the general neighborhood. The general feel of the street is that the homes would be worth less as well. No one wants to live in a area that looks unclean.
 
Question: By cleaning their street for free twice a week will they notice a difference, begin to care and work to improve the value of their property?
 
Time will tell.
Excerpt from "Broken Windows"
by George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson
Published in the March 1982 issue of The Atlantic Magazine

Above all, we must return to our long-abandoned view that the police ought to protect communities as well as individuals. Our crime statistics and victimization surveys measure individual losses, but they do not measure communal losses. Just as physicians now recognize the importance of fostering health rather than simply treating illness, so the police—and the rest of us—ought to recognize the importance of maintaining, intact, communities without broken windows.
 
 
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A recent story about the litter of plastic bags was very interesting.  Read the article by Rachel Barnhart on WHAM ABC 13's website (Rochester, NY).
 
As a former board member of a Keep America Beautiful affiliate, plastic bag litter is upsetting to me as well.
 
Just one plastic bag actually turned into an expanding effort to clean litter from everyone's neighborhood every day.
 
A Daily Litter Walk is something anyone can enjoy. It's a community service project that doesn't need anyone's approval except the individual making the descision.
 
A little over a year ago, on our daily morning walk, a plastic bag was blowing down the street. Knowing it would end up in a storm drain, the rivers and the bay, I picked it up.
 
Now I'm walking down the street with a bag in my hand. More litter is seen: what to do? Since I have a bag in my hand and someplace to put it, I must pick it up.
 
At the end of the walk the bag was full and I felt good because of what had been accomplished.
 
Next day, repeat, next day repeat. Now five days a week five miles a day a Daily Litter Walks.
 
One individual can clean up the Daily Litter. To clean up yearly litter it takes an army.

 
 
Here you have it. Three weekly routes are labeled A, B, C. So if you start with A on Monday and walk A, B, C, B, A. The routes that produce the most Litter are walked twice each week and the least Litter once per week. There you have it, my greatest Daily Litter Walk accomplishment of the week. Well, apart from the walking five miles a day five days a week, but it's a system and it's simple.
 
The whole idea is simple, inexpensive and effective. Cleaner Land leads to Cleaner Water. Clean up the Litter on the Land and you get Cleaner Water for free. By taking a daily walk you improve the quality of your life and your health. Encourage others to join you and help them become part of Lean-and-Clean, too.
 
Each day encourage others all over the world to do the same.  Think of the impact to health and environment from such a simple idea. You never know who you might encourage to take up the idea.

This week another environmental advocate group started following the idea. She speaks to groups all around the gulf. She can add the story to her speeches to groups and others might join.

After early church on Sunday there was an opportunity to tell the story to a friend moving to Clearwater, FL. While he is retired and writing his seventh novel, he will also help coach youth sports at the school his sons attended. He said he likes to teach the younger kids before they know everything. Perhaps he could teach the kids to start Daily Litter Walks in their neighborhoods.
 
 
At the end of one year and the beginning of another, here are my observations worth sharing with you.
 
1. None of my other activities offers as much immediate gratification as taking a brisk daily walk and picking up litter along the way. With church, community and professional activities, meetings occur on certain days of the week or month and at certain times and places.  They also depend on others and their ideas to accomplish much of the agenda. A Daily Litter Walk can start at any moment, at any place, on each and every one of the 365 days in a year. There are no limits imposed by others on you and your desire to do good and to feel good about yourself and your community.
 
2. Walking is good for the Mind, Body and Soul. Years ago, when we started walking, the idea was that it was for the for the body and no thought was given to anything else. In short order the Soul and Mind both told us we were wrong. Walking is for the Soul and the Mind first and foremost. The fact that it also improves the body is purely secondary. Many days I've felt less than euphoric as the door closed behind me, but I've never returned home depressed. An hour's walk each day lifts the Spirit, the Mind and the Body.
 
3. You can learn to express yourself and educate yourself while walking. With all manner of audio publications available, you can listen to college lectures, books or music as you walk. As a member of Toastmaster's, I've written and practiced many speeches during a Daily Litter Walk.
 
4. Picking up Litter along the way requires simple tools. Each morning a few small plastic bags free from local merchants and a garden glove are all the tools needed.
 
5. Walking gives you a chance to see things you don't see in a car. You have the chance to meet your neighbors and wave to others as they drive by on their way to work and school. You also have a chance to see who might need help getting their newspaper to their front door and who might need help getting their garbage can to the street.
 
6. Having a chance to witness sunrise or sunset each day is a joy for your entire being. Being outdoors to appreciate the change of weather and the other creatures in God's universe brings joy, too.
 
7. Everything flows downstream. Cleaner Land leads to Cleaner Water. Picking it up before it hits the storm drains helps give you both.
 
8. The only thing missing is you. Start today and take a Daily Litter Walk. You will be Leaner and your community will be Cleaner. Lean-and-Clean is a winner for all.