It was a beautious day to be outside, probably the best we can remember. And it's always enjoyable to be with students who simply take it as natural that they should embrace the opportunity to do something for the community and not worry about attention or thanks.
This year most of our crews worked with the local police district to clean litter from an area of our neighborhood that is targeted for special attention. This is in keeping with the experience of a number of urban areas: when there's less litter and other "blight," people tend to behave more respectfully toward their own and other people's property. It's not exactly the beginning of a social revolution, but it's not a bad idea.
So today, with some young friends, we picked up a lot of trash on the street. And here's what we learned:
- Most trash is related to habit-forming or addictive products. While we found carpet, diapers, underwear, and such, mostly we found packaging for things that people buy and consume habitually.
- And the most popular of these habit-forming products--by a very wide margin--is sugar.
So as our addictions have changed, so have our waistlines.