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I was running down Washington Street in Wellesley the other day when I saw what had to be one the biggest plastic bags I’ve ever seen. It was blowing around on the sidewalk, with some packaging air bubbles lying nearby.
It must have been around an enormous package and somehow gotten away from the recipient. I looked around and realized I was probably half a mile from the trash cans I knew were available in the center of town.
No helping it. I had to run with a giant trash bag billowing behind me and a fist full of packing bubbles.
I’d resigned myself to this less than flattering new running accessory when only a few minutes later a van with Wellesley school stickers stopped next to me and rolled her window down.
“Is that trash?” she called out. “Did you pick that up? Want me to take it?”
“Yes!” I said in startled delight, and proceeded to shove the giant trash bag through her car window and watch her drive away.
Just a few minutes earlier, I’d felt a bit dejected seeing such a huge piece of plastic left to wander at will through Wellesley. But having someone stop and help reminded me that there are so many people who are willing to help.
If you’re picking up trash, you’re not alone. If you’re trying to reduce plastic in your life or avoid chemicals, you’re not alone. And if you’re feeling resigned and frustrated, there’s someone out there who is working towards the same goal who might just be willing to help.
Many thanks to the kind person who let me finish my run unencumbered, you did more than lighten my load, you lifted my spirits!
p.s. This is actually — ‘Plogging’ — the Swedish fitness craze where runners pick up trash! Try it out.