By Carrie Wenninger | CNA Media Team
While looking for ways to productively fill her time when the restaurant she worked at closed during the pandemic, nature loving Concordian Sarah Bowell discovered the joys of trash.
That’s trash removal, on her own block and on her own schedule — with supplies provided to her free of charge.
“I saw this interesting program on Instagram that someone posted about. It was so easy to sign up, you just fill out a form, look at a map and choose the block you want to be responsible for.”
The program? Adopt One Block, brainchild of Portland resident and retired tech exec Frank Moscow. The motto? “Serving our community by cleaning up our world one block at a time.”
The organization is new, formed just seven months ago, and Sarah has been involved for two months.
“It’s frustrating to see garbage but now, when I’m out walking the dog, I just bring my bucket. In fact, I want to bring my bucket and grabber when I go out because I’m now more aware of where the trash is.”
Like laundry, trash piles up if you don’t stay on top of it. Adopt One Block empowers individuals to stay on top of a block they love by tidying weekly – or more, whenever the mood strikes – by becoming block ambassadors.
Easy and cost-free, with no driving, no fundraising and no scheduling with a group – it’s just you and your block. “Some people ‘go rogue,’ though,” Sarah shared, which means continuing on past their designated areas and picking up trash along the way.
Basic supplies consist of a five-gallon bucket and trash grabber. Trash bags, gloves and sharps containers are also available on request. “They Amazon-ed supplies to me, and I got my order within 48 hours,” Sarah enthused.
“I typically do my area twice a week, before and after garbage day. It takes about a half hour to fill a bucket. My philosophy is if the area is clean, people are less likely to throw more stuff down.
“I’m surprised at how much joy picking up trash brings me,” she added. “It seems like it would be a chore, but there are so many nice people who are appreciative of what I’m doing, and that keeps me going.”
Carrie Wenninger lives on 29th Avenue in Concordia. She is a freelance writer, a mom, a world traveler and a small business marketing consultant. Contact her at WurdGurl@gmail.com.