This much ugly litter didn't end up in Dog River (or any other body of water) on Mardi Gras Day.
Why? A five mile Daily Litter Walk picked it up before it got there. Five days a week, five miles a day has an impact on a neighborhood. Others are joining the effort; as far away as India.
Could you be encouraging others to follow suit? Can you help spread the word?
Would 1,000 Daily Litter Walkers in your community have an impact on Clean Land, Clean Water and Obesity at same time?
Try it! You will be Leaner and your Community Cleaner.
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.
A recent story about the litter of plastic bags was very interesting. Read the article by Rachel Barnhart on WHAM ABC 13's website
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.
Lean- and-Clean would like kindly issue our first challenge for community improvement.
This is one brought to us by Uncle Joe Sims at McCoy Outdoor.
The neighbors around Murphy High School beg the leaders of Murphy High School to "Lead by Example" and to help Lead the Cleaning of their campus each and every day.
What if Murphy High School was a clean beautiful park setting for everyone to enjoy? Would it be an asset to the neighborhood and the community?
Education is filled with lots of challenges, good people are stretched as it is and we are all grateful for their efforts.
Those are all good reasons to get outside for a Daily Litter Walk every day.
Taking a walk relieves stress and brings about countless positive feelings for everyone involved.
What if the leaders of Murphy High School considered a mental shift to How can Murphy became a Good Neighbor?
What if the Principle, assistant principles, coaches, players and cheerleaders started Leading by Example and cleaning their campus every day?
What if each and every day, each one decided to go out and do a Daily Litter Walk around campus.
What if they picked up every piece of Litter on campus regardless of size every day?
Amazing things happen when you do this.
Each day they would get to know each other and their campus better.
Each day their campus and neighborhood would be Cleaner and they would all be Leaner.
Their Lead by Example effort would inspire other students and teachers to be Lean and Clean too.
What have you got to lose?
It might not help, but it certainly won't hurt.
Please, let's all give it a try.
Thank you very much,
This week Clean-and-Lean would like to honor all those, who on their own, are cleaning neighborhoods around the world.
It seems each time a Daily Litter Walk discussion is held, the reply is "I do that" or "I know someone who takes Daily Litter Walks". We would like to thank and honor each one of them.
Each one won.
Won't you join us? Find a committed friend, get your bags, gloves and hit the streets each day. Your neighborhood will be Cleaner, you will be Leaner and you and your friends will feel warm inside for what you have done.
Helping make your neighborhood better is Food for the Soul.
Five miles and only two bags full today. Please start taking your own Daily Litter Walk. It feels great to exercise and do something good for the community at the same time. Lean-and-Clean.
Leading by example has always made sense to me.
What if some of our elected officials and other community leaders joined in the daily litter walk?
Mobile has a Mayor, six council members and three county commissioners. Could they all join?
What if the Police Chief, Precinct Captains, the Sheriff all joined. What if the leaders of the other cities in the county joined too?
Then what about school board members, Chamber of Commerce leaders, business community leaders, medical community leaders, doctors, nurses, university and college leaders, school principles and teachers, too.
Wow, just think about the beauty of such an effort.
What if the President and Congress joined, too?
Would it be easier for them to reach across the aisle and work together to fix our country if they all picked up litter together everyday?
Couldn't each of them lead by example each day. Do you think that would have an impact.
Do you think that would be a good example of leading by example?
Having a goal is helpful, too.
What if we set a goal of 1,000 Daily Litter Walkers just in Mobile County every day?
Would our Land be Cleaner and our Water too?
Wouldn't Cleaner Land lead to Cleaner Water?
Doesn't daily exercise improve your health and quality of life? Could we all be Lean-and-Clean?
Wouldn't a Daily Litter Walk help make you be Leaner and your community Cleaner?
What if a good part of our cleaner environment didn't just rely on stronger laws and expensive technology?
What if it came from citizens filling their free plastic grocery bags with litter each day and inspiring others to do the same.
If you're not dying, can you get up and help?
Join your neighbors and take a step and another and another toward making our community a better place everyday.
November is a great time to remember what we are thankful for. Each week this month, I will thank organizations and community leaders for their efforts in the fight against litter.
This week, I am thankful for the environmental judges, Judges Whiddon and Coleman-Hall, in Mobile, Alabama. They provide a great service to our community and are working to build community pride through the Environmental Court and Keep Mobile Beautiful.
Monday through Friday of each week, my wife and I take a five mile "Daily Litter" walk in west Mobile.
We've developed four routes which we vary on a daily basis so that more streets are cleaned each week. The tools used are the small plastic bags brought home for free each week from merchants and a gardening glove. Each day three or four bags full of Litter are removed from the streets and left in a trash can instead of a storm drain.
I encourage all cities to join this effort as well. Citizens might go out their door feeling blue, but by the time they get home they will be pumped up and ready to go.
They will feel good from the exercise and from knowing they did something good for the community, too.
During your "Daily Litter Walks" your mind will have an hour to float free and travel along some new mental paths you didn't notice before.
Some of those mental images might connect dots to ideas you never considered. Your ah-ha moment might come on the next block so never quit.
Our most notable accomplishments have germinated from ideas that effortlessly floated up during our morning walks. No walk, no idea, no walk, no travel.
Here are a couple of things we've learned from daily walks since 1986:
Walking benefits the body, but it is chiefly for the mind and the spirit. Many times the 4:00 AM alarm has startled me into a less than excited state of mind, but oddly enough I never returned depressed. By the time we return, the mind, body and spirit are filled with hope, fire and ready to face the day.
The "Daily Litter Walk" has helped visualize ideas all connected in different ways. Picking up litter everyday helps preserve your neighborhood and lifts your spirit.
Helping preserve your neighborhood helps preserve the appearance and value of your property. Helping preserve your neighborhood helps preserve your city.
Taking concrete action to preserve and improve your city helps encourage economic development and better quality of life. Win, win, win.
Now grab your bags and your glove and get out there. See you on the streets.