Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Doing Good

One day last week, I was waiting at the awful traffic light at H and Massachusetts Ave NW to get onto 395 South to take another another awesome day at Sportsvite, when I saw this genius from Maryland finish his soda, and throw it out of his car onto the street. (Only idiots drink big gulps in the morning, I am pretty sure). I am not really sure why he'd do that. He had a really crappy old Buick. It's not like an empty cup would really take away from the aesthetic of his 1993 $%#box sedan, but he felt like he just had to throw it out on the street. Now it's not beautiful over there by any stretch, but that doesn't mean it's his trash can either. Sadly, before I could get out and throw his cup back in his car, the light turned green. Flash forward to yesterday. Sitting at the same light, I see a guy walking along Mass Ave, picking up all the trash on the side of the road and sidewalk (no small chore) while walking on his way to work. Chances are he got the big gulp.

Why am I babbling about this? This made me wonder - what if everyone did one block every day? Would there still be litter? Would the streets look so terrible? Living where I live, I don't have a sidewalk to call my own, so I can't clean the place that is MINE. But, after seeing that guy picking up trash, while I was cooling down from my run this morning, I saw some litter along North Carolina Ave by Eastern Market and I picked it up. I did this for about 6 blocks. It felt good, and who knows - maybe someone saw me and they'll do it tomorrow.

I thought a little more, and it dawned on me that Capitol Hill is filled with dogs. Everyone has dogs, and they all pick up the dogs droppings. But they don't pick up trash that they see. I think that's crazy. Why don't they just bring two bags? That way they can pick something up on their walk that isn't coming out of their dog's ass, and they can make themselves feel better! That's a win-win in my book. Everyone should want to do this, even if they are selfish - litter has to bring down property values, right?? On a side note - this whole thing reminded me of those Insurance commercials you see with the whole 'Pay It Forward' message:

Give a hoot - don't pollute.


Johnnie Francis Xavier MacIntyre said...

It would be awesome if the world worked the way you wanted... I would love that too. Reality is... people are not going to change unless they are forced to somehow. And unless we want to live in a North Korea type world, where everything can be regimented, we'll be left with people who will use the larger space around them as their personal dustbin.

Glad to see you do your part though.

Kirk Gray said...

I don't think that everyone has to change. I think a few people need to change. If enough people do it, it becomes the norm. People think twice about littering where there isn't already litter, and while there will be a bad apple, it will be the exception and not the rule - that kind of thing doesn't require a draconian 1984 policy. Don't be so pessimistic - life is about "what if's" and not about "what is's"!