Grey haired, blue haired, no haired. The aging baby boomers, the retirees, the forgotten parents, the widows and widowers…
When talking to my father the other night, it dawned on me… In this struggle against trash, I need an army, and I think I may have an idea where to start recruiting.
My dad saves clippings for me from the newspaper, stories about Steve Jobs, Puget Sound and environmental causes he thinks I’ll like. He was bringing them to me, dropped one and reached over for his grabber.
I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to figure out how to get folks out for a continual cleanup effort. Cleaning up the streetside trash to keep it from going down the storm drains, and picking up the beaches before the plastic makes it into the water is a constant battle. It isn’t a once a year or once a quarter, feel good, salve your conscience thing, it needs to become a natural act, a good habit. Most people these days don’t have the time, busy with life, family, job, etc…
In our culture, the elderly are often written off. They are sent off to communities where they can “be together” with their own kind, where they can have a social scene, or to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
But are they often as happy as they could be? Does their life have as much meaning as it once did? Do they feel useful?
Try this thought on. (now i’m going to address you, my future clean-up battalion)
You already have grabbers, the tools for picking things up without having to bend down.
Are you with me?
Every time you go for a walk, it can be done as a team. One carries a bag, one carries a grabber. If my dad can pick up newspaper clippings from the living room floor, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. You get exercise, social activity and a meaningful thing to do all in one fell swoop!