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Sunday, August 5, 2018

First Stop with the Ark: Street Cleaning on Saturday!

The day started very rainy and stormy... good thing we have an Ark! The clouds parted around 11 am and we were soon on our way to do our first event with the Ark: litter removal in Red Hook. We were joined by Ryan, a diver who cares deeply about the health of the ocean, and his girlfriend Nora. Below is the map of what we did in about 2 hours. We started at the library and went up Dwight, cut through Coffey Park, came back on Richards, and ended up on Wolcott back to the library.

We separated the litter as we went along: recycling in one bag, garbage in the other. The day was very humid, and we were a mess by the end of our cleaning journey, but we felt very good about what we accomplished, got numerous "thank yous" from residents, and chatted about the state of the world with library goers as we finished sorting the trash at the end of our run. We are going to use some of the detritus to make artwork and decorate the ark this week, so we kept straws, plastic bags, and bottle caps which we cleaned in our studio later that afternoon.

In the short time we were out cleaning, we collected 3 large bags of garbage and 4 bags of recycling in an 8-10 block radius. Remember that all this trash was probably going to end up in the river and eventually in the ocean. Street drains are typically not filtered so everything that goes in, ends up in our waterways.

What can YOU do to help?

- Do not throw garbage in the street: that includes cigarette butts! If you are a smoker, put your cigarette out and put the filter in an ashtray or garbage can
- Commit to picking up 3 pieces of street litter a day: if we all pitch in, the world will be a better place
- Avoid single use plastic! Use a tote bag to shop, bring your own mug to get your morning coffee, and bring your own utensils to avoid plastic forks and knives

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