Butts, Bottles, and Bags. Yep, I have been trying to remember to write this post for a couple of months now. It’s pretty much the majority of what we do as volunteer workampers in almost every single assignment. We pick up a lot of water bottles, those plastic bags floating around the picnic areas and cigarette butts. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against people smoking outdoors, to each his own, and all of that but please use one of those portable ashtrays with the lids on them, people! They keep your butts in one place, comes with a lid you can open and dump the contents into the trash, helps put out the cigarette and keeps the still lit cigarette from catching stuff on fire when tossed into dry leaves. Not that that happens very often, especially right now, when everything is still so damp from all the rains we have had and the cold winter. But still, it’s a pain to pick them all up even in the fire pits.
Those plastic bags you get from the grocery store are great to keep your picnic stuff in before you use them because you can tie them shut and are really great to use to hold your trash in after you have eaten. And, yes, occasionally when the wind kicks up you might lose one but please go after it. Or at the very least get your kids to run and get it. One of my duties is to ride around the perimeter of the picnic areas to the treeline to find what has blown there. Most of these suckers are dull gray or light brown and blend into the winter leaves. They are not good for the local wildlife, hold water in for mosquitoes to breed and take forever to break down in the soil.
Finally to the subject of water bottles or plastic bottles in general. We are constantly having to pick them up off the playground, along the trails, and in the parking lots. Quite of few of them still have water in them (we collect those to pour on sticky benches and picnic tables as there are no water faucets near them). People really should hold themselves and their children responsible for picking up after themselves. There are numerous trash bins all of every single park I have been in just for the express purpose of having a place to throw your trash once you’re done with it. And, please, please, please, DO NOT THROW THEM INTO THE WATER! I don’t know about other volunteers but I refuse to climb down a soggy embankment or wade into the water here or anywhere in Florida to grab trash out. First of all, there are alligators and snakes in and around the water areas and second of all, I’m just too darn old to fall into the lake without breaking something or run fast enough to get away. And again, plastic is not good for the wildlife or environment and takes forever to break down.
Okay, that’s the end of my rant for today. Just wanted to get that out there now that spring is here and more and more people will be visiting our public land areas. Be kind folks and pick up after yourself.
***March Book Update***
I am still researching and updating the new Workamping in Florida 2018 book and hope to have it and the companion Members Only website complete and ready for publication before the end of summer. You can check out the new companion website now at: https://workamping-in-florida.websandblogsforwriters.com. We will be taking down our 2014 book from all sales sites a month before the new one is published. So, if you would like to get the eBook version for FREE rignt now sign up for a Smashwords account and go the the book’s page: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/481477 and set the price to zero. Of course, a dollar or two is always nice.