Media is a wonderful place to live. It is easily accessible by walking, biking, using public transportation, or even driving. There are great shops and restaurants, and even during this pandemic there are ways to meet others and get involved (Media Foodbank, Media Farmers Market, Dining Out on Wednesday and Thursday nights, Media Fellowship House, Media NAACP, and so much more).
The coronavirus has changed much for all of us—on a personal as well as on a community level. One of the changes I have noticed as I walk around town is an increase in litter–especially masks, fast food containers and micro-litter. It is not just around fast-food restaurants or Baltimore Avenue strip stores, it is EVERYWHERE. Some litter may be caused by open back sanitation trucks, but it seems a great deal of it stems from individual behavior. No matter the cause, it is OUR COLLECTIVE, COMMUNITY problem.
We all know that litter is an eyesore, but here are a few other reasons for us to get litter in Media under control and maintain a clean town:
- Litter effects our health and the health of our environment. For example, cigarette butts take 12 years to break down. In the meantime, their chemicals leach into our soil and waterways, inflicting harm on all that grows and lives there.
- Litter gives out the message: “I don’t care about this community or the environment.” This is in contradiction to the fact that most people love Media and care about how it looks.
- Stagnant water caught in litter increases mosquito infestations.
- Litter is expensive. It takes more time and resources to clean up litter strewn over multiple areas than to empty trash and recycling bins.
Many people pass through Media for work, for the courts, and to visit. That is a good thing for our economy and reputation. However, residents need to be the ones to set the example that WE LOVE MEDIA and want to keep it beautiful and cared for. While we are all concerned about our health and safety during COVID, we can still safely clean up litter. Here is how:
- Choose an area you and your family (or those in your bubble!) want to focus on. Wear your gloves and masks, bring a broom or rake and dustpan and have a clean-up walk. Check your spot once a week.
- Talk with others about doing the same in another portion of Media.
- Take before and after pictures and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
- When shopping at chain stores or restaurants and strips along Baltimore Ave, ask to speak with a manager about outdoor litter cleanup.
Many places around the globe have group litter clean-up days a few times a year. Large clean ups are one of the best approaches, but during a pandemic, smaller gatherings of people wearing masks and gloves is a safer, more comfortable approach.
There is a new app that assists individuals and organizations in cleaning up litter. You can learn more about it at litterati.org. Media residents can use this app to effectively clean up our wonderful hometown.
Be safe and healthy. Wear your masks and gloves, social distance, and wash your hands.
Thank you and spread the word.