A Fort Langley resident who has developed a habit of picking up litter is hoping to encourage others to do the same.
Bryan Miller has launched a website, yourlocalcommunity.ca, to bring like-minded people together to take the “pick up pledge” and commit to binning litter when they see it.
Miller hopes to encourage people to form garbage and graffiti clean-up groups who make regular sweeps of their community to keep it clean.
“We all should be part of making the community we live in better,” the site says.
“[A] simple way to give back could be just picking weeds that grow near a curb, picking up the garbage on the sidewalk or cleaning up graffiti in your community. It all counts towards giving back and making your local community better.”
Miller said he had the idea for a community clean-up movement after attending a “massive sit-in” at the Vancouver Art Gallery two years ago that drew more than 5,000 people.
A few days after the demonstration, he returned with his family and could not believe how much garbage, trash, graffiti could be seen on the streets.
“So I thought to myself: what if those 5,000 people who gathered just a few days before went out into the streets and cleaned up all the trash, picked all the growing weeds, cleaned up all the graffiti. What would be the compounding effects of change from that?”
On a sunny day outside his home, Miller had no trouble finding discarded trash during a brief stroll along the sidewalk across the street from his house, scooping up handfuls of trash.
“At the end of the day, I’ll never pick up all the garbage,” Miller told the Langley Advance Times.
But if other people develop the same habit, he’s hoping it will mean a revival of small-town pride in the community that is the birthplace of B.C.
”I travel around small towns around B.C. in my RV all summer,” Miller remarked.
“I notice pride [that keeps those communities clean].”
According to Miller Fort Langley is treated like a “truck stop” with people carelessly dropping litter.
His advice is to stop ignoring it.
“Clean your path in life,” Miller commented.
“Do your part.”
It has become part of his everyday routine and that of his two children.
“As we walk, as we’re going for to get ice cream, we clean up,” he said.
“If you see weeds, pull them. If you see garbage, pick it up.”
Anyone interested in forming a volunteer clean-up group through Miller can contact him through the website or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing PO Box 1273, Fort Langley BC V1M 2S7.