Over the last couple of weeks I've been listening to the news a lot. Man, there's a lot happening out there in the world and I realized how easy it is to just get overwhelmed and tune out. Its easy to think oh well those are huge problems and I can't really have any impact on them. This is especially true for the environment: from the BP spill this summer to the global warming talk. I've given this some thought and while these are huge issues that we'll all face moving forward I think that its dangerous to fall into the thought pattern that these are too big of problems for individuals to have an impact on. The bottom line is that we're all in this together, everyone has to live on planet Earth so I think its best to try to take care of it. Furthermore there's a lot of people in the world right now and if everyone focused and did some small things it adds up along of the lines of many hands equals lots of work accomplished. Now as a kayaker my tendency is to look towards the rivers. Here are a couple of things that I would challenge everyone to take part in:
1) Join American Whitewater. The basic yearly membership is $35 which equals $0.01 per day if you split it out over the year. That's just not very much and I think every kayaker can make that commitment. AW is a great national voice and the more members the stronger that voice is. So here's the link to join: https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Membership/join-aw/eNqLV...
2) Do a river clean-up once a year. Again the theme here is to take small attainable steps. There's a lot of river clean-ups around and it just takes a moment to find them. If there isn't one in your area get together with a couple friends at your local spot and make it happen. Keep it fun too
3) Along the idea of small attainable steps try this one out. This is something I started doing a little while ago. Every time you go kayaking pick up a piece of trash. Small, simple, and easy.
I actually think this last bit has some good potential. Once you get good at picking up the one piece on the river expand it to every time you go outside for an activity, then if you get really ambitious every time you go outside. Again there's a lot of people in the world and if everyone picks up a piece of trash even half the time that's a lot of trash that's not on the ground. For me this has been a pretty cool experience. I've realized that one piece of trash isn't very much so its easy to pick up more. Also it rubs off, people see something like this and who knows you might inspire them. The best part is that you turn yourself into an active participant even if its on a small level. So the next time you see me on the river ask me about my piece of trash!