Every spring 'round about Earth Day I take nail-on-stick in hand and walk around our property, which is bounded by roads on two sides, picking up the detritus that's collected on the roadside over the winter. It's partly just a matter of being a responsible human being and good neighbor, and partly a kind of amateur anthropology field trip. Trash can be kind of interesting.
Much of it is, of course, thrown out of car windows...but being here in the woods, oftentimes it's a matter of critters like crows tearing open people's garbage bags, leaving the trash to be dispersed by wind and assorted animals all over the neighborhood. Sometimes it's gross; one spring I found a pair of boxer shorts and a used condom, here in our civilized subdivision (and I bet you thought Outer Podunk was all about Amish quilting bees and the like). But it's been interesting comparing the garbage from year to year.
I'm happy to report that the Spring 2006 roadside trash haul was much less than usual. I think the worst spring we ever had I picked up two full trash bags full of stuff; yesterday it was half a bag. Fast-food wrappers -- just a couple. I found an empty hamster-food bag. No underwear or prophylactics. The hooch bottles are way down -- every year I've always found a pile of beer and liquor bottles at one corner of our property, as if several people had gotten out of their vehicle and held an impromptu nighttime party there along the road, but this time all I found there were two empty chocolate milk containers. Elsewhere I found a Slim-Fast can. So our neighborhood litterbugs seem to be getting healthier, as well as neater.
Now we're all spiffed up, on two sides of Cold Comfort Cottage and surrounds. My computer desk should be so neat.