This is a great day to complete the April – Earth Day Challenge. Go to the top of this page and click on Current Challenges to learn more about this challenge.
Buddha’s teachings explain the need for us to live in balance with the environment and that we are all connected. The trees, the animals, all living things are connected. Therefore, as we destroy the environment, in a way, we are kill part of ourselves in the process. Buddhism speaks of balancing between over-consumption and self-discipline. In society today, we would refer to this concept as sustainability or using only what we need and avoiding depletion of natural resources.
The difficult part of sustainability and cleaning the environment is that it takes more than just one person. It takes all of us doing our part to help. We need to work together as a team to hold our world up. We all need to eat sustainable foods. We all need to clean our neighborhoods. We all need to be responsible.
So, here is the challenge again… Get out there and do your part:
I challenge everyone to leave for work a little early at least one day this month and pick up the trash from home to work or vise versa. For example: I walk 0.5 miles one way to work. I am going to take a glove and a grocery bag (reusing) and pick up all the trash one my side of the street instead of doing my usual which is looking at it and saying to myself that I should pick it up. Another example: One may take the train or their car to work/school. One could take a glove and grocery bag and pick up the trash from work to the train/car and then from the train/car to home. I would love to hear some comments on how it felt to do something good for the world and others. Leave your comment here or you can message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past Sunday afternoon, I decided to take a walk with my partner and complete the April – Earth Day Challenge that I made with my blogging world a while back. We grabbed a plastic grocery bag and began my daily walk to my work place, which is 0.5 miles (850 meters) from my apartment. Along the walk, I picked up papers, tissues, bus passes, and many other items that were next to the sidewalk, while my partner encouraged and aided in picking up the garbage. At first,it felt awkward to be outside walking along the sidewalk picking up the trash. I felt as though people driving by were staring at me thinking I was crazy. Within about 5 minutes, I became unaware of others that were around me. I had my partner with me and we just started talking while we were picking up the trash. It began to really feel good to help the neighborhood clean up its landscape. As we were cleaning up some papers, a 40-year-old woman walked up from behind us. She stopped up and asked,
“What are you guys picking up?”
“We’re just picking up the trash” I answered back.
She began talking to me about how she believes that people learn about littering or not littering (respecting the environment) at an early age. We discussed how we are surprised by the amount of trash that is on the ground in such a beautiful neighborhood. She said she believes that the trash comes from cars. We continued to discuss how there are trash cans on every block in this neighborhood and how it is saddening that people do not just throw their garbage in the cans. She ended our short conversation with a, “You should be commended.” I thanked her and continued picking up trash. By the time we finished the half mile, I was holding one full grocery bag full of garbage from just one side of the street.
This experience left me pondering a couple of questions…
– Why don’t people just throw their garbage in the binds where it belongs?
– Why don’t others pick up trash? Is it due to fears of germs? Is it due to fears of being seen by others? Is it just pure laziness?
I would love to hear about your thoughts on my questions and on your experience picking up trash for this challenge…
May God bless you and Buddha’s teachings guide you throughout your life…