Step Four Action Post:

1.) Where are you with your action? (e.g. what involvement have you had so far? Describe with examples)

In my action project my group and I have now completed 2 clean-ups in our community. This time around, we cleaned up a small community park beside Eagle Ridge pool in Coquitlam, as well as cleaning up a small business complex that included a 7-11. We walked for about an hour and a half and were able to collect a lot of garbage. It was quite a successful outing in which we helped our local city stay clean and cleaned up a complex/ park that might otherwise not have been tidied up for some time. Moreover, we have a great time in the outing and are looking to forward to do another clean-up in the weeks to come.

2.) What are some successes that you have had? Provide specific examples.

Our big success this cleanup was picking up 97 pieces of trash. While compared to last time our bag was much less full, in total we actually picked up more pieces. This is why our clean-up was so effective. As mentioned in my last blog post, last time we did not count every piece of garbage picked up. Rather, we measured our success by the volume of the trash collected. With a change of strategies, we now have a more accurate way of knowing how much was collected. The item we collected the most of was cigarette butts. This is a great thing because specifically the filters in cigarette butts may not decompose for up to 10 years (1). Therefore, the dozens of cigarette butts we picked up are now properly disposed of, instead of simply laying on the pavement and polluting the environment. This, along with every other piece of garbage cleaned-up is why our clean-up was a success. Every can, wrapper, piece of hard or soft plastic, face mask, cigarette butt, etc. collected counts and to have picked up 97 items in only an hour and a half is what I believe to be a great achievement.

3.) What are some challenges that you have faced? Have you been able to overcome them? If so, how? Provide specific examples. If not, can you problem-solve some ideas that might work for next time or if a similar situation arises? Again, provide specific examples.

We did not face major challenges this time. One slight derailment that we faced was having to reschedule our clean-up. We had planned to doit last week on Nov. 15, however this was the day after the major storm and floods overtook BC’s lower mainland. While our city was thankfully not affected to the extent of others, we still decided it would not be the best idde to go that day with the rivers overflowing, everything drenched and continuous strong winds. Instead we simply moved our clean-up to Nov. 22, one week later. Another unexpected issue was the fact that upon arrival to the small community park, there was not as much garbage as expected. It was clear that there had been a recent clean-up, likely by the city. This was a great thing for the park, however it made us think about what our next step would be to make our clean-up as efficient and successful as possible. We decided to branch out and clean a larger area than originally planned. With this decision, we we walked through and picked up any trash we found from the park, on a nearby school field, in a local business complex and on the sidewalks in between. Since the beginning my group and I have known that we may not always visit a spot with a ton of garbage, seeing that our community is relatively clean. So, I think that it is very probable that we will face this challenge again in the future, and if we do, this strategy will be great to use again.

4.) What are you doing next and why?

To follow up, we will be continuing to go out and clean-up different parks or parts of our community. Our goal for this semester is to do at least three more of these in various locations. This will happen in the weeks to come and I look forward to it. For me, I love knowing that we have made a difference and improved our city even in the slightest of ways. I am appreciative that my group is just as passionate as I am about helping and that we all want to continue to clean our city, to increase our impact in nearby neighbourhoods. An interesting finding that day was that there was much more garbage in the areas where there was a garbage bin available nearby, compared to where there wasn’t one. People often forget or disregard the effect their actions have on the planet, this needs to improve. Which is why we chose garbage clean-ups for our action project and why we will not stop in the face of a small challenge.


(1) Did you know? | Facts about Cigarette Butts and Smoke. University Health Services. (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2021, from

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