1. What challenges did you overcome throughout this action project. How did you go about overcoming these challenges?
Throughout this semester’s action project, the same problems as last semester started to occur. As my group and I began trying to plan the nature clean-ups, we found that scheduling was still a big difficulty for us. Due to all our different classes, clubs, and extra-curricular activities, it became very difficult to find a day on which we were able to meet up. After finally discussing days that only some of our group were able to make it and planning nature clean-ups on that date, we ran into another difficulty. Finding a location where each group member could safely commute to and from was a problem we faced. Luckily we resolved this by all going directly after school to a nearby location and learning how to get home beforehand. The final challenge we faced was that the locations were usually more well-kept and clean the expected. Apart from our very first nature clean-up, the parks we visited didn’t have much trash. Searching for trash in areas that were more hidden such as bushes or hidden trails helped find the extra trash that might never be disposed of properly. Later on in the semester, we noticed that as the weather got hotter and sunnier, there was more trash due to more people hanging out at parks.
2. How did this action change the way you think?
This action made me realize how big a small change can really be. When we begin to clean a park it looks “sort of” dirty. However, by the end, it looks so much cleaner. This really showed me how different a small change can make a big impact. I also thought that more garbage would be apparent at public parks. To my surprise, it was sometimes difficult to find trash and there was a lot less than expected. But sure enough, we were always able to find trash in the park’s hidden areas. This action also helped me realized that if someone sees a nice clean park they won’t want to make it dirty again. So they are more likely to dispose of their garbage propely, which can create a small ripple effect.
3. How did this action impact your future decisions?
In the future, when I see garbage anywhere and I’m able to pick it up, I will. Anytime I’m on a walk with my dog or just standing at a bus stop it’s easy for me to quickly pick up some trash and dispose of it properly. I’m also going to continue to encourage friends and family to do the same as well as go on their own nature celan-ups if they have spare time. Since much of the garbage i cleaned up was plastic and take-out food packaging, I choose to buy products that produce less waste. For example, when I’m shopping I will choose products which aren’t packaged in plastic and choose the products packaged in paper or cardboard. Not only that but I will reuse and recycle a lot more. Many ways I can do this is something like purchasing second hand items from different thrift stores, reusing items and recycling as much as possible. Seeing the difference we make in our community has made me inspired to continue to put what I have learned to use in the future.
4. What impact will this action have on others locally and/or globally?
I hope that throughout my blog posts as well as the rest of my group members blog posts, people are inspired to always clean up after themselves. Hopefully people might even be inspired enough to start their very own nature clean-ups. Nature clean-ups are a great way to connect with the environment, get some fresh air and clear your head. A quick 30 minute walk picking up trash can make a bigger difference than you think. It might not seem like a big difference, but proper disposal of trash is important within our community. Not only that, but cleaning up after yourself is very important to influence others around you and to build a good habit so you won’t litter and hurt the environment. I also hope people are inspired to clean up trash for the benefit of wildlife in our parks and children as well. Both animals and younger kids won’t know if touching or ingesting trash can be dangerous to them. For example, an animal can eat plastic thinking it was food, and can be seriously affected.