A month into our road trip and we’ve visited 3 States, 3 National Parks, and 8 State Parks. While the scenery has varied somewhat there have remained two constants: people and trash.
Minus roughly a week and a half, in the past month and a half we’ve practically lived in campgrounds– so maybe that’s why I’ve noticed the trash more. I’m baffled at the volume of trash we’ve seen left behind at some of the most beautiful places in our Country. I just cannot fathom how someone can visit a place like Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, marvel at its beauty, and then toss a cigarette onto the beach for someone else to pick up.
One of the countless reasons I love my boyfriend is because of his love of the outdoors and desire to “leave no trace” (just ask anyone who’s camped with him before); if only the millions of people a year who visit our State/National Parks felt the same way. During our day trips and hikes Ben walks around picking up the trash he encounters and the habit has begun to rub off on me as well. This is our home after all!
Where do you think that cigarette you throw on the beach goes?
One of the places that stands out in my mind is Gulf Shores, a beach town near my hometown of Mobile, Alabama. Driving down I-59 into Gulf Shores you can tell it’s a special place. Clear-ish warm water and white sand.. what’s not to love? But when you look closer you can see much bigger problems. Just walking through the sand at a public beach towards the water and you’ll see hoards of white trash leaving their garbage behind. And yes, I’m saying anyone who leaves trash on the beach needs a lesson on not being an asshole. People are quick to point fingers at BP then leave their Budweiser can on the beach.
I’d like to challenge everyone reading this to think twice before tossing that coke bottle on the side of the trail or beach you’re visiting. If you see a styrofoam cup and have room for it, pick it up! Imagine the difference we’d make if everyone in this country picked up one piece of trash a day/month/year.