Thursday, January 23, 2014

New years 2014 Green and Clean Review & Pledge. South Burlington, Vermont

To my faithful Green and Clean column readers,

I wish to thank you for your readership and your shared interest in maintaining a Green and Clean community as we progressed through 2013. Looking back over the past twelve months, I find the sport of litter picking growing exponentially. So many have recognized the immediate personal and social reward gained from picking up litter regularly.

In addition, businesses are awakening to the value of clean branding. I can no longer survey a storefront without a store manager or employee racing to insure a clean image and perfect sanitation scorecard report.

Moreover every time a clean up coupon ( ) is redeemed at a local business the cash register of community pride rings out.

I am embarrassed to guide a tourist onto a local street that bears litter, robbing our community of its natural beauty and replacing it with the scars of a big city’s uncaring and pride-less behavior.

I can’t walk past walk past a carelessly discarded food wrapper without salivating at the opportunity to burn some calories by stooping, collecting, and discarding the misplaced packaging.

I no longer have trouble shaking hands with anyone after they grasp trash in gloved or ungloved hands and spirit it away. Clean and responsible are those hands.

More and more I find residents enjoying the natural outdoors within the footprint of their town or city. Nowhere does litter appear more out of place than along the trails of our parks, wetlands, streams, and beach areas. 

Grateful am I for every large shade tree planted and maintained in the urban environment of parking lots, softening the harshness of asphalt and concrete, providing welcoming shade in the summer and beautiful downtown foliage in the fall. 

Thankful am I for all those parents who, with their children, partake in Green Up Day building a tradition and teaching the lesson of civics.

Proud am I when folks cherish sense of place in each neighborhood through Adopt a Block for year round litter clean up.

Your stories continue to come in, sharing how you feel when you pick up litter- , connecting you to those from around the world who have the same desire to save the earth beginning in their own neighborhood.

Thank You for telling me that you care about keeping storefronts, parking lots, sidewalks, city streets, and public green spaces clear of trash.

Thank you to businesses who have added outdoor trash and cigarette butt receptacles, and implemented a regularly scheduled storefront clean up procedure.

Thank You for picking up litter whenever and wherever you find yourself. Thank You for sharing the vision that ours can be the first community to maintain a completely litter free environment.

Together we share, one light, one sky, one moon, and one home-One Earth. Earth is the only planet we know with life and litter. Cleaning it up is easier than moving. Share the responsibility; Pick up our home-pick up litter.

For 2014, let us pledge, “Keep it clean-keep it green”.