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Trash Talks...Litter Leaves! 2021 Smiles Show Litter Challenge

Here it is, already the middle of July, and I hadn't even posted a blog about the "litter challenge" I issued to listeners of The Smiles Show back in January 2021. Well, better late than never I always say...well, I guess I HAVE to say that, since I *should* have posted this 6 months ago! If you already listen to The Smiles Show, you are aware of and hopefully already participating in the challenge, but if not, read on to learn about the challenge, and how you can participate!

Woodsy Owl turns 50 in 2021. And, that's a big deal! On a personal note, he was one of my childhood idols, always cleaning up our planet, while telling us to "Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute!" While other kids were really into Star Wars, I was following the adventures of this owl who was looking for cleanliness everywhere he went. Apparently, Woodsy had a big influence on me, since I decided to celebrate 2021 by commemorating his 50th birthday with a year-long litter pick-up challenge!

Here's how the Smiles Show Litter Challenge goes:

  1. Pick up litter as you go about your daily routine. That's it! No muss, no fuss, just pick up a stray plastic bottle, cigarette butt, aluminum can, or coffee cup.

  2. Or, get "creative" with your litter removal efforts! Document what you find, take photos, identify the most "interesting" or "strange" item, or even donate items to a local charity if appropriate. Get a group of colleagues, friends, or family members together and do a group pick-up! Who would ever think that trash and litter pick-up could be "fun?"

Some of the more "interesting" items I've found so far include: condom packaging (no, not the actual condom!), a Macy's receipt from 1989, a children's playset, a colorful Vans kids shoe, a birthday card for a 1-year old girl, and a Long's Drugs bag! I have also found way too many face masks on the ground...let's make sure these get appropriately disposed of, please.

And, did you know that you can even "make money" when picking up litter? Yes you can! I've already picked up a $20 bill, as well as a $5 bill, and sorry, I already checked, and these aren't YOUR bills...;-)

When picking up litter, you may want to have plastic gloves and/or hand sanitizer, as well as a bag to keep the litter in, until you can find an appropriate receptacle(s)...much more difficult than you might think it would be! You might also want some sort of "grabber" tool that can allow you to pick up litter, without requiring as much bending. However, if you are like me, your physical routine might "need" more bending and flexing, so that tool may not be needed in all cases!

And, last, but certainly not least, I want to share YOUR stories on The Smiles Show. Drop me a note at, letting me know what types of litter you are picking up out there, along with any "interesting finds!" Can you find more "interesting" trash than I have? I want you to prove it!

Are you set, ready, and excited to take on this challenge? I hope the answer is a resounding YES! Each of us can play a big part in making our world a better place for EVERYONE! Litter be piece at a time.


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