I'm heading over to Venice Beach for the Annual Coastal Cleanup Day, but first I'm going to talk about picking up others' trash.
I started going to these beach clean up events back in elementary school when I was a girl scout; The big takeaway from my particular troop was always leave a place cleaner than I've found it.
This means, on a hike pick up little bits of trash on the trail that I can see and safely reach. At the beach, dispose of all my trash and look around for some extra that I didn't leave. As a guest in someone's home, I should offer to help the host clean up. A gracious host takes responsibility for cleaning up after me, their guest, and a big part of being a good guest is being a tidy guest. And so on. As a result I've learned to dislike lounging in trashy environments, but having a low tolerance for trash is a bit of a two-edged sword.
It bothers me when eating at a public place and the only table available is covered with napkins and straw paper from the last diners. If I choose to sit there to eat, then I essentially inherit their trash and I will feel like a jerk if I get up at the end of my meal and leave their trash behind.
I also worked in a movie theatre when I was a teen and I can tell you that there are likely rats in every theatre that serves food. Though ushers don't actually get paid specifically to clean up trash after attendees they end up having to do damage control lest the rats go on a brazen binge amongst the drink cups and half-eaten snack bags left on the floor and in the seats when the show is over. Most people don't think anything of leaving their trash around when they leave. Without any intervention from ushers it wouldn't be a shock for rodents to eventually start to crawl along the seats during the show. So props to ushers for picking up others' trash and keeping the rats at bay (thus preserving the environment). Think about that next time you put your popcorn bucket on the floor.
I get that it's not a big deal leaving just one bucket on the floor, but perhaps the person in your seat before you left nachos under their seat and the person before that left some sticky candy under the seat in front of you. Multiply this by 300 seats and it all adds up to giving rodents an incentive to enjoy the trashy feast all around you and who really desires to enjoy that quality of life? [/rant]
Back to the beach
All of us are ushers of our environment. Whether we accept that role or not is the key to upping our standard of living. Though it takes a little bit of extra effort, the end result is that once a year we get this opportunity to help preserve the environment and bond with others who are doing the same.