Portland is filthy! If you walk around and really look at the streets and sidewalks, it’s disgusting.

I’m not referring to the errant lost mitten suddenly revealed in a melting snowbank, but layers of litter – old and new.

Cups and drink containers from every coffee shop and fast-food place in town, candy wrappers, tampon applicators, parking receipts, drink cans, pens, newspapers, plastic bags, dog poop, plastic bags containing dog poop – the list is endless.

And, of course, it’s all heavily adorned with a generous application of cigarette butts.

This is not the way to treat “the jewel by the sea,” nor should we accept this as “the way life should be.”

Earth Day is almost six weeks away, and probably plans are already percolating for festivals and activities to raise people’s awareness of the importance of saving the Earth. Many of these activities involve generating more trash and encouraging people to drive more miles to participate.

How about something different this year? Everybody in Portland go out with a bag and pick up trash until your bag is filled.

Don’t drive anywhere to do this – just start where you live and keep walking and picking up until your bag in full. Then take your bag home and put it out with your regular trash on collection day.

Sure, it’s going to cost you a little in time, effort and bag fees, but isn’t a clean city worth it?

Rosanne Graef

Portland