Blue Friday-Blue Movement cleanup

Friday, November 24, 2017, was Blue Friday. To some it was Black Friday, but not in our house. We haven't participated in Black Friday for many, many years and the only time we went was twice, back-to-back years, and after a good kick in the leg from a lady with steel toed boots the last time we went I decided it just wasn't worth the effort, the money, or the time-or pain. The kick she gave me was on accident, but nonetheless it left a rather large hematoma on my leg for over a month.  So for a good alternative to the madness and the consumerism we decided to do something completely different and clean up a waterway around us by joining forces with United by Blue

The Willamette Valley has some of the most beautiful views with water or a snow capped mountain in the background, especially this time of year. This year, being our first year to participate, we decided to keep it small and clean up the local canal that runs through the city here. The Lebanon Santiam Canal has a stretch that is surrounded by a park-Ralston Park. There are a lot of homeless that congregate at the park during the day and into the evening. There is also a lot of foot traffic through the area too. Most people that visit the park are respectful, but once in awhile we get the few that don't seem to care and litter their trash, clothing, and cigarette butts. Tons of cigarette butts. We ended up clearing over 60 pounds of garbage. Most of it could be recycled, which made us sad to know that someone couldn't take the time to place the items in a recycle bin instead of the ground near water, or in the water. One of the cleanup crew member we had said the perfect explanation of why: It's because some people just don't care. heartbreaking, yet true. So to remedy that "don't care" attitude, help out year round and clean up after yourself and the ones that don't care. The more care you put into something the more it will offset the others. Here the highlights of our cleanup this year.

We received our kits and were really excited to get started with the cleanup. United by Blue included a Blue Movement bandanna with the kits this year and we wore them proudly. The kit also included a trash bag for waste, one for recycle, and some heavy duty rubber-tipped gloves.

We began the cleanup efforts at 2:00 p.m. west coast time and worked until 5:00 p.m. when the sun started to set.

We covered the entire length of the canal that the park surrounds. In between trash collecting and cigarette butt removal I took pictures of the cleanup.

Plastics are definitely not for the environment. 

A shoe.

The Bean removing rusted metal chicken wire.

The Bean found some unusual items in the canal. Here he found a broken, glass bong that someone had thrown off the bridge, but missed and it hit the bridge and broke into several large glass pieces.

Getting down and dirty with the cleanup.

Plastic bags, mylar balloons, cigarette butts, plastic container and bottle, chicken wire, glass, a marijuana container, needles, etc. It was absolutely shocking to see so much liter in our city's canal. Extremely disappointing.

United by Blue has great information on the Blue Movement on their website, Twitter, and Instagram. We will be setting a time and place each year where we live in order to participate. If you would like to get involved, you can do that right here. Or here!

Remember, every little bit helps and it does more good than you know! And I probably don't have to state this, but the best thing you can do to help out with the efforts is to not litter, pick up other's litter when you can, and always try to recycle items that can be recycled. My number one suggestion would be, don't bring waste into your home in the first place and stop using disposable items, especially plastics. Simple changes in your habits can have a big impact overtime.

-UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. -Dr. Seuss "The Lorax"

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