Every Day a Day of Service

Not long ago I posted about my opportunity to clean up open desert near my sister's home.  Trash of all sorts -- plastic bags and cups, newspapers and cardboard boxes -- had been strewn about a couple of acres of habitat in the western Mojave.   It does not take much time or effort to make a significant difference, and two other organizations committed to clean communities and deserts have proven this.  It's our community. Our public lands.  Keeping the places we love in clean and pristine condition is our responsibility. 

One of the efforts I learned about is organized under the Facebook page called the One a Day Picker Uppers -- more of a lifestyle than an organization.  Christina Lange told me about this effort, and members of the group's Facebook page pledge to pick up at least one piece of litter each day.  There are already over 200 members, and photos from across the US of pieces of trash cleaned up by civic-minded folks. The idea behind this is that if each person took the time to pick up at least one piece of trash a day, we could make serious progress in keeping our communities and wildlands clean. 

This photo from the One a Day Picker Uppers Facebook page shows a single plastic bag found and disposed of by someone inspired to keep their desert clean.  Instead of ignoring the bag and letting it blow deep into our wild desert, a One a Day Picker Upper took the few seconds necessary to give it a proper disposal.

Separately, the Morongo Basin Conservation Association sponsored a stretch of Highway 62 in the California desert, picking up trash twice a month and even removing invasive plant species.  The group is catching highway litter before it drifts into our beautiful deserts and otherwise clean communities.  I can't express how much I appreciate these efforts -- I've been hiking in the middle of remote desert and come across a stray balloon or plastic bag caught in a creosote bush, probably blown miles from a highway or city.  I take it upon myself to collect everything I come across on a hike, so it is encouraging to know that there many other people out there acting as good stewards.

A photo of some of the Morongo Basin Conservation Association's volunteers during one of the group's recent clean-ups. 


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