Saturday, May 20, 2006

Adopt A Highway

Not a very catchy title, but it's how I spent my morning today.

My good friend Amy P had adopted a highway near her home in surburban Minneapolis. She organized an Earth Day event and invited a number of her friends to pitch in.

The weekend we were supposed to go was rainy and cold so she moved the date to today. Fortunately, the weather gods smiled upon us, bestowing us with mild temps and partly sunny skies.

She and her husband had the helpers meet at their home for breakfast. There were five of us in total. We ate, geared up and figured out "the rules" -- walk one side of the freeway, facing oncoming traffic (just like the running rules!); don't collapse cans (they may have syringes or other items in there that we don't want to "disturb"); watch out for items used to produce Meth.

Yes, Meth.

The city actually provided a handout to Amy to show us that described what to avoid. It even included pictures of the dangerous items, just in case we were confused.

Fortunately, we didn't not find any Meth or Meth making supplies, but we did find bucket seats torn out from a vehicle and heaped to the side of the highway -- lots of cans and plastic bottles; candy wrappers; a plastic shovel; lots of paper and foil; wires, cigarrette boxes and receipts. I found a receipt from a local convenience store. Someone had charged a Gordita Burrito and a Hawaiian Punch. Total $2.00. About a quarter of a mile from that spot, Lisa, another worker bee, found a receipt for the exact same thing. Very strange.

Also very strange to me that people think it is totally okay to throw all this crap out the windows of their cars. Are we really so "above it all" that we can't be accountable for our own garbage? Apparently so.

Hubby sometimes teases me because I keep a bag in my car where I lob all my empty water cans and coffee cups. I wait until the bag is full and then it hits our recycle pile. I'm not sure why that is so strange. I'd rather muck up my own car than muck up the planet.

Reuse, refuse, recycle!


Dori said...

When I see people cleaning up the side of the road, I assume they're doing community service in lieu of jail time. Good thing I didn't see you! :-) Nice of you to clean up the road. I never litter--not even during road races.

Wanna-be 5k-er said...

Adopt-a-Highway is a great idea. I never ever understand why folks toss so much stuff out onto the side of the road. It's not ok.