MARYSTOWN, N.L. — When Kim Mayo and Carrie Kwinter head out for their morning walk on Tuesday’s, they are not only looking out for their own health, but also that of the environment.
For a number of months, the pair have been visiting walking trails in Marystown, Creston and Burin and cleaning up litter as they go.
Mayo explained that she Googled zero waste (living). The aim of zero waste is to reduce landfill-bound trash to a bare minimum, as well as a focus on recycle, reuse or repurpose trash or waste that would otherwise end up in landfill sites.
“I got really into that, and then found out that me and Carrie had a lot in common and she was after picking up garbage, and that (was) something I could totally get into— then we just started one day,” explained Mayo.
Kwinter said after the first time they cleaned up a trail, they agreed to keep it up.
“It felt really good, and it made a big difference, you could tell every time we went for a walk it was a lot cleaner, so we just kept doing it,” she said.
She added that they usually take three or four large garbage bags, rubber boots and gloves.
“We go for about two-and-a-half hours, because I have to go pick up my youngest son at daycare,” Kwinter said.
The pair said during Tuesday’s (June 12) walk around Jane’s Pond they were finding a lot of discarded coffee cups, “and the plastic ones…with the open lids, and straws,” Kwinter noted.
She has switched to using straws made of paper or glass instead of plastic.
“There is an alternative for almost everything that we use that we toss,” she said. “It’s just ridiculous that we’re using things once and throwing it away.”
Other items the pair often encounters in their clean-up efforts are potato chip bags, take out containers, plastic shopping bags and bread bags.
Kwinter added that while it may be easier to use disposable, single use items rather than reusable products, “We’ve come to a point where we can’t afford to do that anymore.”
She said it is important people make a better effort to care for the environment.
“There’s no planet B,” she said. “This is all, so if we’re not taking care of it we’re only screwing our kids over.”
Both women say the clean-up efforts are something they will continue to do.
“We both really enjoy it,” Mayo said. “We look forward to our Tuesday’s together.”
Kwinter added, “We like our walks, we like our little yarns while we’re doing it and it feels good.”
The pair explained that not only do they spend their time cleaning up, but they also discuss solutions to the problem of discarded waste.
One such solution they discussed is called pickup, pickup.
“We thought parents, when they’re out to pick-up their kids from the bus stop, take five minutes to pick-up the trash, so we’re calling it a pickup, pickup,” Kwinter said.