Earth Day – 2020

DISCLAIMER: These photos are from several years ago from our archives when we lived on the St. Johns River. We do this regularly, but this trip was the most impactful images of trash pick up in a single day that one person (between the 2 of us) has ever hauled in since 2005. I didn’t go because there was no room for me in the kayak. We could see things in the river and if I had gone, it would have taken a lot longer and many trips out. The garbage is sitting in my seat.

Garbage hauled out of the St. Johns River in our 2 person kayak.
Frank heading in from his scavenger hunt for trash

HAPPY EARTH DAY! I find it funny that we even have an earth day. What are we supposed to do with the other 364 days? Is this like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July? Do we celebrate it one day out of the year and forget it the rest of the time? Heck no, everyday is Earth Day!

Frank picking garbage out of the salt marsh on the St. Johns River.
Frank picking trash out of the salt marsh in the St. Johns River, Jacksonville, Florida

When we look at the reality of what’s happening to our planet, the truth can be overwhelming. Especially when there are people that want to tell you everything is fine and there’s nothing to worry about. It’s all those environmentalist wackos just exaggerating everything! “Please put my coffee in a styrofoam cup wrapped in plastic so I can throw it on the ground in a grocery store parking lot or better yet in a creek somewhere!” I don’t even drink coffee!

Frank coming in with all the garbage that he picked up and placed in the kayak out of the St. Johns River.
Frank coming in with his load. He found a twin size mattress. What is wrong with humans?

OK, ok let’s calm down a little bit. The truth and reality is, many of the things that are happening to this wonderful world are irrefutable and caused by humans. This isn’t fake news people…this is our reality and all you have to do is make an earnest effort to look for the facts and you’ll see them for yourself. And yes, as overwhelming as the truth can be, you can still make a difference. And, as the saying goes, “the truth shall set you free”. Free to do things you’re comfortable with, things that are simple to do, things that only require changing a habit or two and things that celebrate the Earth and make this a better place for us all to live.

Items with barnacles and rust on them that were taken out of the St. Johns River.
Note the barnacles on the cooler and the rust on the propane tank. Ugh!

These are personal decisions and we’re so lucky and blessed to live in a country where we are free to make those choices. Here is a list of a few things we hope will get you thinking about the simple things you can do on Earth Day and every day to make the world a better place.

  • Think globally and act locally. Recycling, composting, conserving water usage, choose sustainably and reducing trash are a few things that come to mind.
  • Bring a reusable bag to the store. Instead of getting a plastic bag, bring your own reusable cloth bags. It’s understandable that with the Covid-19 virus people are using more plastic bags at this time. Just do the best you can.
  • Never litter, like the commercial in the U.S. states, “Keep America Beautiful”. That goes for all my friends around the world too. Simply insert your country. I say this with a big smile on my face.
  • Pick up litter when you can. You don’t have to pick up every piece you see but, do what you can and what you’re comfortable with. An interesting thing about litter and human nature is that, the cleaner a place is the less likely it is that someone will trash it. We keep discarded bread bags and other bags that have been used for “this or that” and reuse them as our garbage bags. We keep rubber gloves in the car and when we walk on the beach or take a hike through the wilderness, we have what we need to pick up whatever may have been left behind or blown in from a storm.
  • Limit “single use” plastic whenever possible. There’s no disputing the impact single use plastic is having on our environment especially in our waterways and in the oceans.
  • Bring your own ‘to go’ containers to restaurants for leftovers. It’s easy and just requires changing a habit.
  • Bring your own silverware and straws to places that use plastic. Stainless steel, paper and glass straws are great alternatives to the plastic ones at your local food spot. In all the times we’ve done this, we’ve never gotten a negative reaction and have actually been thanked quite often.
Frank showing all his trash possessions that he rescued from the St. Johns River.  Took more than 3/4 of the kayak space to bring it all in.
Frank’s loot out of the St. Johns River and going to the local landfill.

These are just a few simple suggestions. Your list might be completely different than ours. If everybody does a little every day, the Earth will be just a little nicer for everyone and we’ll be celebrating Earth Day everyday! When it is safe to do so, I encourage everyone to get out and do just a little bit. You’ll be glad you did and the earth and future generations will thank you.

4 Comments on “Earth Day – 2020

  1. Happy Earth Day! And thanks for all the useful reminders about how to properly treat our environment. By the way, I saw those photos of your husband in the marsh – are there not alligators around?

    Like

    • I just don’t understand why humans do this, but I’m glad we are capable of cleaning it up when we can. It’s so important. 😊

      Like

  2. Thank you for taking time to pick up other people’s trash. I have a ritual of cleaning up the little section of the creek along my frontage. It’s only about 1/8 of a mile but I typically get a large bag of trash a couple times per year.
    One year I went to lake and found as much trash as I did driftwood.

    Like

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