It’s easy to turn on your computer (or mobile device) and scroll through endless good stories, photos of cute kitties and funny videos, but we shouldn’t forget that there are plenty of problems in the world that have to be addressed. Pollution, especially plastic, is one of the biggest issues of our age and despite so many people fighting the good fight, you still see people tossing their candy wrappers or coke bottles out in the open. And while this fight against littering might seem like a failing cause, one Instagram account shows that it’s all in our hands (literally).
“Peterpicksuptrash” is an Instagram page where Peter posts photos of trash he picks up. Every photo includes a short message, detailing how easy it was for him to pick up the trash. “Walked a very short distance to eat lunch. Picked up this trash on the sidewalk and then I threw it away. This was very easy to do,” one of the photo descriptions read.
Bored Panda has reached out to Peter and he responded by saying that he "caught" this habit of picking up trash around 2 years ago. "I would walk to lunch most days, and I always walked past trash, literally within inches of my feet," he recalled, "I would pass other people walking past the same trash, and they would walk right past it [...,] so one day I just decided to pick it up, one handful at a time".
More info: Instagram
"This stuff was all directly in front of me as I walked to lunch. It took very little effort to pick it up and throw it away. So I did. This was very easy to do."
"This trash was on the ground. So, I picked up this trash and threw it away. This was very easy to do."
His page also has a short “bio” where Peter expressed his message. It reads: “I am going to demonstrate how easy it is to pick up trash, instead of walking past it. You can do it too. Maybe we save the world.”
"Weird stuff on the sidewalk today: a pretty new snorkel, a seemingly nice reusable fork, a whole (moldy) meal; and of course various plastic wrappers/containers. Still, I picked them up and threw them away. This was very easy to do."
"It’s one of the easiest, brainless, physically-demanding-less, things a single person can do to help the environment," he explained. "And if a thousand people start doing it, a hundred thousand, a million, a hundred million... we could make a really big change really quickly by doing the simplest of tasks," Peter expressed hope about spreading this "habit".
"Picking this trash up and throwing it away took less than 15 seconds out of my day. This was very easy to do."
"This stuff was on the sidewalk, right in front of me. Instead of walking past it, I picked it up and threw it away. This was very easy to do."
When asked if his family and friends are aware of it, Peter confirmed that they are and they think that it's both, a simple as well as awesome idea. "It’s quite easy to do and just about everyone can contribute on their own time, in their own way," he reiterates how simple it is and how easily people can contribute, as it doesn't require "scheduling or planning; physical exertion or mental anguish; a degree, a job, whatever", it just needs someone to pick up trash when they see it. "If we save one animal from swallowing something it shouldn’t (that we humans made/discarded) and prevent it’s unnecessary death, or help one part of the ecosystem stay healthy, then it is entirely worth it," Peter concludes.
"Instead of walking past this trash on the ground, I picked it up and threw it away. This was very easy to do."
"Walked a very short distance to eat lunch. Picked up this trash on the sidewalk and then I threw it away. This was very easy to do."
According to Our World In Data article published in 2018, by 2015 “the world had produced 7.8 billion tonnes of plastic”, which is more than one tonne of plastic for every person currently alive. The big problem with plastics, compared to other materials, is that it takes a long time (some plastic items can take up to 1000 years) to degrade. And according to data, by 2015 around 55% of global plastic waste was discarded, while 25% was incinerated, and only 20% recycled.
"Lot of stuff on the sidewalk. Instead of walking past it, I picked it up and threw it away. This was very easy to do."
"Instead of walking past this stuff, and picked it up and threw it away. This was very easy to do."
"As I was leaving work I picked up a piece of trash and heard your voice in my head saying “that was very easy to do”"
".3 mile walk to lunch spot. .3 mile walk back. Picked up this trash and threw it away. This was very easy to do."
"Not much today (which is a good thing). This was very easy to do."
"Walked a very short distance. Bent down. Picked up. Threw away. This was very easy to do."
"Found this stuff on the ground during my lunch walk. So I picked it up and threw it away."