Sunday was the official kick-off of the river cleanup season, always in Overpeck County Park in Leonia.
Volunteeers can cruise on the canoes if they choose, but I stuck by the shoreline.
Like last year, I hit a far end of the park. This time, I was with three gentlemen. In under two hours, we had 25 garbage bags filled with trash. Here's what we found.
Many of these areas were tricky to get to, and involved going down a slope and crouching under branches and overgrowth. But it was worth it to save these plastics from floating into the water.
If you feel like it's like cleaning up a landfill, you're right on track: this park was built on a landfill. Garbage is protruding from the Earth and into the waterway. But it is not all landfill waste. Much of it is clearly recent.
This plastic bag revealed its age: 2 years. The scene repeated itself everywhere. One of my fellow volunteers. Just one of our three piles.
A salvaged tv.
By lunch time, this what was in the dumpster (and this wasn't everything). Lisa, the volunteer coordintor, said they were running out of bags. She brought 400. This dog even got involved in the clean-up! But mostly, he provided a much-needed smile on our faces. They graciously fed us. For breakfast, donuts and coffee. For lunch, pizza. A nice healthy salad.
The next clean-up is tentatively set for Sunday, May 2nd, from 11 AM - 4 PM at KBG Park in River Edge. Click here for the full list.
If you aren't fortunate enough to have a group like the riverkeeper in your community, consider doing a park clean-up on your own. There is no shortage of trash. When my sweetheart and I took our four-mile walk in Ridgewood on Easter, the trail was littered with trash. Even one bag helps.
Once upon a time, I bought bottled water (why, I have no idea). I stopped for coffee and got it in a disposable cup. I didn't always use reusable bags. But these clean-ups have changed my life. Consider the amount of waste we produce and how we can reduce our impact.
This wasn't my only clean-up of the day. More about that in the next post. I'll give you a hint: last time, it yielded a Beatles CD, and then some.
Independent thinker, writer, reader, activist, voter, food lover, thrifter, volunteer, supporter of family farms, main streets, and libraries, traveler, park-goer, friend of animals, people and the Earth, lover of life
This blog is for people of all dietary backgrounds. The Vegan Good Life is not The Vegan Perfect Life. I am not a pure vegan all the time (I do eat vegetarian always), and strive to do the best I can at pursuing a vegan lifestyle. Please feel free to come along on this flawed but beautiful journey. Along the way, we'll advocate for a better world for animals, reduce our impact on the Earth, travel, go thrifting, empower ourselves financially, learn, dream, inspire, listen to music, and celebrate one of life's greatest passions - food.