As COVID-19 spreads around the globe, we can spread goodwill around our communities by picking up trash along our shared outdoor spaces. Staying at home is paramount at this time, but getting fresh air is encouraged, too. Soon Earth Day will be upon us, an event to raise awareness about our environment that began a half-century ago, on April 22, 1970.

While the public respectfully practices “social distancing” (poorly worded phrase instead of “physical distancing”), many want to be helpful in other ways. Now that the snow has melted, unsightly litter can be seen along the streets, under bushes and being carried by the wind across fields.

Since “we’re all in this together,” a sentiment that can carry over to our shared outdoor environment, we shouldn’t wait for Earth Day to tidy up. Starting right away, bit by bit, we can make a positive impact on our communities. Before you go outside for a walk, bring an empty bag. When you see trash, please pick it up. If it’s out of reach, use a stick. Instead of filling baskets with colorful eggs this time of year, fill a bag with colorful trash.

If everyone makes the effort now, our beautiful communities will be cleaned up in time for tree blossoms and colorful bulbs to bloom. Call it “curbside pickup.” After all, “we’re all in this together.”

Carolyn Clyfton Smith

South Portland

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