I am here to empower. I am not trying to start an organization or group, or dictate how, when or where people should take care of their communities. I am trying to express that everyone has the power to shift what is "normal". If the current vibration is leading us to dis-harmony. We have to notice together. We need to spend time together communicating and communing over common values.
FULL DISCLOSURE: THIS IS MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND OPINION...
I have noticed Woodbury is divided between old (traditional) and new (untraditional). I notice the churches having a big presence. Most of the residents I have gotten to know are super woke folks that are supportive of sustainable living and express tolerant views. I would love to meet more people to gain knowledge and perspective.
So, I tried to get involved in the a volunteer organization not to be thrown under the bus's effort to revive foot traffic downtown and the people at the meetings openly complained that millennials are lazy and uninvolved IN FRONT OF MY FACE, then later on shot down my event idea because it was too Pagan and that wasn't going to be OK in Woodbury. I was not invited to converse on the pros and cons of this idea, they just said no. Then they kept the idea and modified it to be more mainstream, f*ck you very much. OPINION: These town groups are saturated with politics that keep caring citizens at home because of the judgements, drama, hoops and bureaucracy involved with getting involved. Unreal.
I decided my neighborhood needed cleaning up about two years ago, a few months after I moved in. My cat had been going in and out for about 4 months. One day he didn't come home so I went looking for him. I discovered trash and putrescence that made me deeply regret having let him outside at all. Clearly people walk through the woods by the train tracks and they LEAVE their trash there. SO MUCH TRASH. It turns out my cat had passed away under my porch. Who's to know if something out there had made him sick?
A year after this happened I tried holding a clean up in my neighborhood in honor of my cat. I put it on Facebook and the town FB group. Unfortunately, no one from Woodbury showed up.
Recently, I posted a little blurb in my town FB group asking for leads on which streets or sections of town could use a scrub down. Most people were very supportive and interested in this initiative! However I will mention that a couple people commented that this is the city's job, not ours. I disagree; I feel this attitude reflects "not my problem" thinking, which is part of the problem. This is OUR Earth. I'm sure the city has some kind of convenient looking program and policy. They are checking boxes they owe to the state and federal governments. That doesn't mean it will be and clearly it hasn't been effective in convincing general people not to litter or even recycle properly! When it comes to effectively connecting with communities and motivating people to give a shit, the government programs are clearly missing the mark. Our society as a whole seems to be out of touch with our relationship to the Earth and Her health. How we affect Her health. How we can maintain Her health! This is a topic for another post...
I believe the real source of change is in our neighborhoods where our children grow up. A resident has the power to initiate change when they show up. It is not just the city's job to address these issues, it is everyone's job. The separatist attitude presented in a few of those comments illustrate why people litter in the first place.. not my problem. Someone else should clean it.
I haven't seen many/any opportunities to clean this place up with any "town groups" not that I'd touch that again.. So I am a renegade vigilante if that's how it has to be and I ENCOURAGE YOU to do the same. I have been going on clean up walks for some time now but recently felt called to share more about it! You do not need a group or authority figure to tell you when and where you can clean up or make any other efforts to unify as a community and improve our existence. I am not trying to create a group, more be part of a movement. Everything I do is just a reminder and invitation.
I invite you to clean up your neighborhood as often as you can and make signs for outside of your house that ask your neighbors to be mindful of litter. If even some of the houses in a community had a sign about not littering and frequent cleanups, I think the reminder and voice would be clear. Especially when these signs are unique to the home! Our expectations are stated without the need for new laws, meetings or whatever else makes things look official but is questionably effective. When we take that time to have conversations, show we care and do our part whenever we can by consistent cleanups (do what you can!) then the vibration WILL CHANGE. Our children will grow up with these visible reminders and active positive habits. Living your values makes the most difference!
Some tips for cleaning up:
wear gloves- never touch trash with bare hands!
practice safe sun
use bug repellent
recycle what you can
sanitize or wash your hands frequently while cleaning up if possible
wear tough and protective clothing and shoes, even eye protection when called for
wear bright colors
work with a partner
avoid neighbors' personal property
if the piece of litter is too risky to go for leave it for the time being
take before and after photos or other snapshots of your walk
follow local COVID-19 measures
You can use the hashtags : #woodburynjcleansup for our local community and #cleanuptoliveon for my personal efforts and post a little something about your clean up walk to keep the community in sync with each other! It really keeps momentum up when we see the activity! If you don't live in Woodbury you can adopt your own hashtag and also use mine. This is why I began posting one month ago. Now I have had multiple conversations with people in and outside of the area who resonate with this idea. I hope you do the same for your neighborhood. Take your own walks and start conversations in your neighborhoods! Make some noise!
There are already billboards and signs of crap all over the place. Maybe we can add a positive message to the mix.
I believe enough people care. I believe this invitation will make a big difference even to the individual who decides to participate.
I can't wait to see people's progress via the hashtags!
Please comment to let me know you were here!
Share with anyone you think would connect. Keep me posted!