Leave a Place Looking Better

I love the concept of Guerrilla Gardening. It’s where people find neglected patches of public space that is a blight to the local community and go in at night and plant a garden to make the place more beautiful. You can take a look at how it is done here:

The entire concept compliments one of the lessons that my father always instilled when we went camping and hiking — always leave a place in better shape than when you arrived. That meant that before we broke camp or while on the hiking trails, we picked up litter even though we weren’t the source. It is something that I try to continue to this day and no matter where I walk, I will still stop to lean over and pick up a piece a trash and put it in a nearby trash can on almost a daily basis.

It’s all part of the Broken Window Theory which states that ignoring the little problems — graffiti, litter, broken windows — creates a sense of decline that leads people to accelerate the destruction of the area. When good people ignore the trash, others feel free to increase it.

So, the next time that you are out and about, take a few seconds to leave a place looking better than when you were there in whatever way is appropriate. Not only are you cleaning up the area, you are discouraging others from making it even worse. Feel free to leave a comment on ways that you have helped to leave places looking better or relevant stories about cleaning areas up — each will add 10 cents to the microloan fund.

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