Every litter bit counts
If you haven’t caught the volunteering bug, here’s your chance. From April 19-26, as part of Earth Week activities, the second annual Make Rochester a Litter Bit Better event is expected to bring more than 1,000 people out to pick up trash across all areas of the city, including parks, neighborhoods, business centers, ball fields and just about anyplace people tend to gather.
Last year’s efforts yielded more than 10 tons of trash, and although we expect more volunteers — and therefore more trash — this time around, we look forward to the time when there are too many participants and "not enough" trash.
And really, if we continue to view this event as a once-per-year thing, we’re defeating much of its purpose. Sure, it’s nice to start the spring with a clean slate, but if we don’t carry the anti-littering mindset with us throughout the spring and summer, we’ll be right back in the same place next year. That attitude is the civic equivalent of starting a workout program every year on Jan. 1, and then going right back to eating junk food and sitting on the couch on Jan. 7.
In other words, this effort should be the kickoff of a yearlong campaign to police ourselves and our town. Is that pie-in-the-sky thinking? Perhaps, but we firmly believe that people can train themselves and their children to start seeing litter, rather than letting it drift by as an inevitable part of the landscape. And, if more of us would adopt a "leave no trace" mentality when we’re out and about, it wouldn’t take long for those 10 tons of trash to be whittled down considerably.
So whether you’re part of a registered group that will clean up a specific area of the city, or if you just grab a trash bag and take a stroll around your nearest park, we encourage you to get involved in making Rochester a Litter Bit Better.
Green grass and tulips look a whole lot better without a plastic shopping bag and a beer can lying nearby.