Pin Me

Environmental Science Challenge: How Much Trash Can You Pick Up?

written by: Nicky LaMarco•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 8/15/2009

No matter where you go, whether you are driving down the road, walking across a parking lot, browsing a shopping mall, or eating dinner at a restaurant, almost everywhere you look, you can spot some trash that somebody carelessly discarded.

  • slide 1 of 5

    Throw it Away

  • slide 2 of 5

    Picking up Trash

    Have you ever stopped to think what would happen if everybody just decided one day that they would pick up trash, instead of walking past it, and either throw it in the trash or make the effort to recycle it? Of course, the chance of everybody on the planet making the decision to pick up trash on the same day is almost nonexistent. However, the fact remains that each of us could make a difference, if we decided that we were no longer going to just look the other way when we saw some trash. If instead, we decided to make it our personal mission and challenge to see just how much trash we could pick up in a day, if we really tried.

  • slide 3 of 5

    Trash Picker Tips

    Once you decided to take on the challenge to pick up trash, your day would probably go differently than what you have been previously accustomed to. On your way out of your house to your car, you would stop and pick up the soda can that some careless driver tossed out onto the curb of your yard. While you are driving along the freeway, because of safety concerns, you would choose not to stop along the way to pick up the trash on the sides of the road, but once you got to work, you would pick up pieces of litter dropped by co-workers as you crossed the parking lot.

  • slide 4 of 5

    Making it a Habit

    On your way down to get coffee, instead of leaving the sugar packet wrapper that somebody dropped on the floor, you would stoop and pick it up, and place it in the trash. If by chance somebody left an empty aluminum soda can on the table, you might stash it in a plastic bag, to drop it off at the recycling center on your way home. When you stop at the shopping mall on your way home from work, you would have plenty of opportunity to pick up trash as you walk from store to store. And, by the time you returned home that evening, picking up the cereal box that blew out of the trash truck as it drove past your house would seem like second nature.

  • slide 5 of 5

    Cleaning the Earth

    This scenario of a “day in the life" of somebody who took on the trash challenge, and decided to make a difference could be you. You might think that, as just one person, the amount of difference you could make by picking up trash would be rather small. But, what if everybody thought that way? If none of us take the time to try to make a difference, we are pretty much guaranteed that things will not get one bit better. Instead, what if we all decided that we could make a difference? If we all took embraced the mission to pick up trash, imagine what a difference we could make. Are you up for the challenge?