Editorial: Kudos for clean-up

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After watching the Driftwood’s 2021 clean-up campaign unfold, we can now say with confidence that islanders are not afraid to get grubby for a good cause. 

We took a hiatus from organizing a spring trash and litter campaign last year due to COVID-19, but decided to refloat the idea under a Let’s Pick It Up, Salt Spring banner in 2021. With so many people spending time outdoors since the pandemic began, awareness of trash on our roadsides and beaches was heightened. 

Maybe that’s one reason Let’s Pick It Up, Salt Spring prompted an incredible response from islanders, who donned gloves and roamed island roads, ditches and beaches with garbage bags in hand to pick up trash and recyclables. Some 50 different teams — mostly comprised of one or two people but as large as the Salt Spring Girl Guides group of 11 — signed up and tackled specified areas of Salt Spring throughout the month of April, covering an astonishing amount of terrain. (See the map on page 16 of this paper.)

We can’t say enough about the people who took on areas large and small with such enthusiasm. They seized an opportunity to become part of a collective effort where every individual’s contribution makes a difference in reducing the amount of plastics and other toxic materials that would otherwise degrade our land and marine environments and harm wildlife.  

Laurie’s Garbage, Recycling and Organics has been an essential partner, not only donating garbage bags but covering the cost of disposal for those who required it. TJ Beans happily jumped on board mid-month by offering free beverages for participants who presented a coupon created by our office. 

The clean-up campaign runs through April 30th, so if you see an available part of the island on our map that you could easily clean up in the next few days, please feel free to go for it and let us know! 

Picking up garbage is a dirty business, but someone has got to do it. Thanks to everyone who did it this month and to those who do it throughout the year. 

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