When you and your friends are trying to decide what to do, I bet you do not usually think of community service. Well, I do. Community service, like camping, is a great thing to do with friends because you bond. This is the type of experience that brings people together.
So here are my tips for how to actually have a good time picking up trash:
Bring plastic gloves! This isn’t really an option; it’s pretty necessary unless you want to get tetanus. An alternative to gloves is a grab stick. I don’t know what they’re actually called, but they’re great for picking up items that you don’t want to touch even through gloves.
Bring a large group! This is one instance in which more is really the merrier. That’s not to say working with one or two close friends isn’t fun, but you’ll accomplish more with more people, and probably find better ways to amuse yourselves. Which leads me to…
Make it into a contest! Make teams or work individually, and assign point values to various items. For instance, a cigarette might be 1 point, a can might be 5, and a tire might be 50. (hint: the trick to winning is getting as many small point value as possible, because you’re more likely to find fifty cigarettes than one tire in the same amount of time)
Don’t forget your safety! You don’t have to wear orange vests, but if you’re on the side of a busy road, you might want to. Or you can just stay away from cars and the sketchier parts of town. Also, if you find needles, just don’t pick them up. Just don’t touch them.
Don’t be hard on yourself – or anyone else! Some people are more squeamish than others, and that’s okay. You don’t want to pick up the mystery substance? Then find something else. Even if you don’t think you’ve picked up much trash, you’ve still made an impact on the world.
So get out there, help the environment, and, most importantly, have fun!