How: The basics are pretty obvious, but here are a few tips.
- Bring a plastic grocery bag. (Paper can rip too easily.)
- If your neighborhood has a lot of trash like mine, it can be overwhelming. Don’t try to pick up every single piece of trash. Just pick one up every so often and enjoy the walk.
- Don’t worry if you can’t see a difference from day to day. People will toss out new trash. But probably by the end of Lent, there will be less trash around than when you started.
- Try not to stress out about the details. Just enjoy being outside and moving.
- As much as possible, try not to let people see you picking up trash. Go at a less busy time. If someone is walking toward you, just pass up that piece and go on to the next one. This is a way to make sure we’re not doing this to look good.
- Walk the same path every day - unless your neighborhood is mostly trash-free.
- Make it spiritual. Try gentle bits of prayer as you go: “God clean up the trash in my heart ... God clean us spiritually ... Give us a greater sense of responsibility for our world ... God, where is there emotional trash in me? ... God, thank you for these beautiful trees ...”
- Wash your hands when you’re done.
Why: Walking and picking up trash may not seem very spiritual or Christian, but there are actually lots of good benefits.
- Our neighborhoods get a little cleaner and more beautiful.
- Trash goes into the trash or recycle bins instead of polluting our ground and water.
- Exposure to sun and nature is a natural mood booster.
- Quiet time is always good for the soul.
- Exercise is good for the body, mind, and soul. John Wesley said, “Most people’s prayer lives would be improved by a 20 minute walk every day.”