Today was a wandery sort of day and we ended up on a beach on local Pelican Lake. It's a lovely beach; sandy and shallow, and today it was nearly empty except for a few swimmers and an Osprey out fishing. (he caught one too, a big one, good on ya Osprey!)
As I took off my shoes and settled down in the sand to watch the boys enjoy the water, my eyes fell on a cigarette butt that had been discarded in the sand. I turned my head and there was another, and another... they were everywhere. It angers me. It angers me to look around at this lovely beach knowing full well that there are both garbage cans and a designated "smokers' station" a few short feet up the boardwalk and that these people couldn't be bothered to pick up after themselves. It angers me that on a perfectly lovely afternoon, while my kids were playing in the waves, I was picking up someone else's mess, but that's what I did. I made a box out of a piece of paper that we had in the stroller and carried loads of butts up to the garbage cans. I couldn't help but wonder how many more had found their way into the water and how many more were under the sand, and how many more will be there when I return.
So a plea...if you smoke, pick up your butts. If you drink, pick up your bottle caps. If you eat, pick up your wrappers. If you come to place that's beautiful, keep it beautiful. Leave it better than you found it. Encourage others to do the same. Don't think it's someone else's job. It's yours. It's ours. No ifs, ands, or buts.