With quarantines and shutdowns in effect to inhibit the spread of COVID-19, folks are shaking up their exercise and entertainment routines. Walks around the neighborhood – even in places with the strictest quarantine measures – are still allowed, and certainly seem to more popular lately. Why not turn that walk into a trash cleanup adventure?

How to win free seeds

There are plenty of reasons to do a trash cleanup in your community, and we’ll get to those below. But we wanted to offer something tangible and Earth-friendly. Here’s how to win free organic seeds:

  1. Head outside and pick up trash from the streets, sidewalks, greenways, parks, beaches, hiking trails — wherever you can do so safely while maintaining social distance. We recommend wearing glove or using a grabber. Safety first!
  2. Post a video to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and tag Emeraldology (@emeraldology on Instagram and Twitter). Explain where you are, show us what you’ve found, how much you collected, etc. This is your chance to brag! Use the video below as a template.
  3. You must fill up a standard grocery bag or more to qualify for free seeds. Imaginary bonus points if you use a reusable bag or container!
  4. Once you’ve posted your video, sit tight until we see it and reach out via Direct Message and ask for your mailing info. Then, choose one pack of seeds from our USDA Certified Organic Pollinator Garden and Starter Garden seed packs.
    • Pollinator pack includes: Lavender, Echinacea, Borage, Lacy Phacelia and Nicotiana.
    • Starter pack includes: Tomato, Sweet Pea, Green Beans, Carrots and Lettuce Mix.
  5. That’s it! We’ll send your seeds in the mail!
  6. This offer is good from now until March 31, 2020!

Why trash cleanup?

Well, what the heck else are we supposed to do right now? We strongly recommend following quarantine guidelines and maintain social distance, but we realize people need exercise and fresh air. More and more people are going for walks and runs to fulfill those needs. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

I’ll admit, the motivation for my first trash cleanup wasn’t exactly noble or selfless. My dog Pippen tends to pick up anything shiny, smelly or mushy on our daily walks. Frankly, I’m tired pulling wet napkins and old band-aids out of his mouth. It’s unsanitary and it makes me think nasty thoughts about my fellow humans. After a year of pulling crap out of his mouth, it became clear that our neighborhood trash wasn’t going anywhere.

Then, I FaceTimed my mom in Minnesota this weekend and found out she’s been picking up trash on her walks — just out of the goodness of her heart! Apparently, the melting snow revealed several months-worth of roadside trash and she couldn’t stand the thought of it running into the sewers and into local watersheds. If she’s out there tromping the cold muddy sidewalks of Minnesota, then I can do the same in Seattle!

Some cool math

In 2015, there were an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the oceans. Yuck, right? But according to Albatross Designs‘ Trillion Pieces of Plastic Campaign, preventing one trillion pieces of plastic from reaching the oceans isn’t that far fetched.

If just 13.8% of the 7.2 billion people on Earth committed to picking up 1,000 pieces of plastic in their lifetime, that would a add up to a trillion pieces. (Note: That’s their math, not mine. It’s actually closer to 14% of 7.2 billion.)

But the point is if one billion people each picked up 1,000 pieces of plastic, we could put a serious dent in the problem. And it’s really not that hard to get to 1,000 pieces. Pick up one piece of plastic every day for 3 years or gather 100 pieces over 10 trash cleanup trips. Heck, even 3 pieces a day gets you there in less than a year.

Let’s say shutdowns, quarantines and social distancing goes on for one month, that’s 34 pieces per day. In the video below, I picked up around 50 in a half hour. This is totally doable! And even if a billion people don’t jump on board, think of the benefits to your local waterways and wildlife!

A sample trash cleanup video (if I can do it, you can do it!)

Please ignore my quarantine hair!

Copyright Emeraldology 2020.