Earth Day Adventures - 2004/04/22

April 22nd marks the hippie holiday known as Earth Day. Although I'm not a hippie (I don't smoke enough of the dope) I do care about our environment. So, in order to help keep our world looking clean and beautiful I took a garbage bag out to a local hiking trail behind the city library called Grand Blanc Commons. This is where the Earth Day adventure began.

Before I started picking up trash I expected to maybe have a half a bag and take a long time to even get in full, but I was quite shocked how quickly the bag filled up. It's amazing how much more garbage is on the ground when you're actually looking for it. As I walked along the edge of a stream I could only go a few feet before finding more trash. My bag got heavy pretty quickly with all the junk.

The most common junk I found was candy wrappers and cigarette butts. There was also a huge amount of Styrofoam in large chunks, packing peanuts, cups, and other forms. Several beer cans and bottles as well. Most of the junk was pretty standard. However, there were several things that didn't exactly fit the normal litter mold which is seen below.

These two beer cans are back from the old days when cans were made of tin, used pull tabs, and the Michigan deposit wasn't enacted yet. The deposit law in Michigan passed in 1976, and came into effect in 1978. So these can's have been sitting around for over twenty-five years. You'll also note that both cans have anti-littering messages on them. Isn't it ironic? Don-cha you think?

Here are some more interesting items. There was some linoleum flooring tossed out (who was trying to floor the woods?). Some old rotten shoes that somebody left behind. Shotgun shells in a hunting-free park, and the casing of an old firework. Fireworks in the woods, oh yeah, that's smart.

I also found a bright yellow rubber ear. Just one. All I can think of is some little kid with only one ear on Halloween running through the woods and losing his fake ear. Strange days indeed. There were several golf balls (someone needs to visit a driving range) and an old tennis ball with the felt missing. Probably a dog's old toy, or maybe a one-eared boy. I also found the jewel case of the computer game Lords of the Realm I and II. No CD's sadly, but then, I already have the game.

Here's something that I thought was really funny. It's a bottle of hand lotion. The name of it is called "Look Ma, New Hands". That's right. I don't think the marketing executives thought about ever selling this product to a guy because there is only one time that guy uses hand lotion and trust me, he doesn't want his mom there looking.

After over two hours of digging through the brush and trees I finally filled up my trash bag. It was a grueling experience, but a rewarding one as well. I was sore after hauling the garbage bag full of trash around, and nature has its own ways of dealing with those who walk though it. I got plenty of scrapes from thorn bushes and sharp branches. After walking along steep banks on streams, balancing on fallen logs over the water, and crawling through sharp thickets, I finally ended the adventure. I had a lot of fun and felt better about myself. The nature trail was a lot cleaner as well. I consider it a job well done.