1. Address the following questions:
a. What challenges did you overcome throughout this action project? How did you go about
overcoming these challenges?
This is my second semester doing this action project with my group. Because of this, I believe I have learned a lot from our past experiences and struggles, therefore causing us to face less challenges this semester. However, this does not mean there were no obstacles to overcome at all. Our first challenge was finding parks that could use cleaning. Many factors went into finding a location for our following cleanup. How far it was, where we could make the most impact, how we could all meet there, etc. In the end we did find several locations that were the perfect sites to clean. we figured this out simply by communicating to find a place right for everyone and on the day, bussing to the park together after school to avoid further transportation conflicts. Having said this, not all the parks were overrun with trash. This is a good thing of course, it means our city is cleaning our parks as well and that our community members are being responsible with their garbage, however this did cause a bit more difficulty for us. Often, in the open parts of the park there was not much trash, yet if we kept searching, perhaps in harder to reach places such as bushes or under trees we were sure to find garbage. Other than that we may have faced a few obstacles here and there, like forgetting gloves and using sticks/ our hands to pick up the trash instead, however with a bit of group problem solving and by learning from these mistakes, we overcame them.
b. How did this action change the way you think?
This action changed the way I think in a few ways. Firstly, just because a park looks clean doesn’t mean it is. As I have stated, in many parks we went to, they may have looked clean if you were not searching for the trash, but it was always there. And this can be applied to more than just parks. You don’t see everything on the surface. For example, this could apply to opportunities, they’re always there if you’re looking in the right places. Another way this action changed how I think is how a small task can make the biggest difference. While some days we obtained less pieces of garbage than others, we also got a good amount and sometimes the park looked cleaner, sometimes it didn’t because all the ash was hidden to begin with, however looking back we acquired over 500 pieces of garbage these past two semesters. This is not a small number. It shows that while we only did a sequence of short cleanups throughout the year, it accumulated and we picked up more than we had hoped, which is amazing.
c. How did this investigation/action impact your future decisions?
After finishing this action project, I know that in the future I will continue to do them. Whether by myself, with my family or with my friends, even if it is not a dedicated cleanup, I will always try to pick the garbage that I see lying around. I will also try to convince my family and friends to partake in this because the more people doing it the more effective it can be. I also encourage everyone reading to do the same. Because in the end, even if you do not throw away 100 pieces of garbage every time, or even 20, the more often we dispose of the garbage on the floor properly, the cleaner our city and parks will be.
d. What impact will this investigation/action have on others locally and/or globally?
This action will probably not impact our world on a global scale very much. In the end, we only cleaned a few parks accessible to us in our community. This is too small an amount to have contributed to the reduction of climate change. However, these few cleanups have helped our community. It has rid our city of 500+ pieces of litter in our parks. It has made our parks cleaner to walk, play and hike through. And while we may not be solving climate change through this action project, we are certainly not contributing to it as we ensured everything was recycled or thrown away in the proper bins each time. For me, just knowing that we helped in some way, even if it wasn’t on a global scale is pleasing. I am happy that my group and I were able to complete this action project over the course of this year and that we surpassed our goals.