I’ve fought many battles over cigarette butts in my lifetime. As a kid, I used to hound my father when he’d toss his into the yard when he’d finished. I’d gather them and bring them by the handful. He didn’t like it and I don’t think I ever changed his behavior much. My dislike for cigarette butt litter has not wavered over the years — in fact, I think it has gotten worse.
My passion for removing cigarette butts has lead me to many cleanups where I’ve gathered them by the hundreds in places like the James River Park, Bryan Park, at traffic stops (drivers are the worst) and even along Virginia Dare (N.C. Route 12) in the Outer Banks. I’ve been known to tweet the license plate number of an automobile when I see a driver toss a cigarette butt out the window. Continue reading
My Why, Richmond, Why?!? column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch this past week was one of those that I have to revisit now and then. This is the beauty of having a column and a platform to express myself and my feelings toward something that I wish people considered to be more important than they apparently do. Continue reading
My family was lucky enough to spend two weeks in the Outer Banks this summer — once in July and again in late August. We were lucky to have two fantastic weather weeks and great friends to join us.
But, it wasn’t all perfect. On our first trip, my wife and I biked about 80 miles, which we love to do on vacation. Each bike ride began in Nags Head around Mile 10 on NC12, the Virginia Dare Trail. The biking was great, but I was not happy with all of the roadside trash we saw throughout the neighborhoods and pathways between Kitty Hawk and Nags Head. I was disappointed, especially knowing that tourists like me were most likely to blame. Continue reading
My two children, Mitchell and Carly, were featured in May as the American Canoe Association‘s Green Paddlers of the Month for all of our efforts cleaning trash when we’re on waterways. Continue reading
I love picking up litter. Unfortunately, there is plenty of it to keep a guy like me busy. This morning, it only took 10 minutes to pick up trash at the Huguenot Bridge and along the James River and Kanawha Canal, which means I met the Trash Bucket Challenge passed to me by Henrico County Recreation & Parks. Continue reading
Two buckets of roadside trash on Ridge Road
I’ve learned a lot about myself the past few years but recently I’ve been focusing my memory on why it might be that I dislike trash so much. My mother and I figured that we both have always been taught that litter is bad and we humans need to do our best to keep from letting our waste escape captivity.
I remember seeing the famous commercials from the 1970s with Iron Eyes Cody, the Native American that was portrayed as crying as he saw so much garbage disturbing beautiful natural scenery. My mother and I really sympathized with that message and think that may have played a role in my dislike of litter. Continue reading