Twenty minutes was all it took to fill two trash bags full of litter along Rosewood Drive. Although it felt like my friend and I were making a difference, we did not put a dent in the amount of beer cans, cigarette packs, and miscellaneous papers lying around our neighborhood.

The scent of stale bud light caused cold chills to run down my entire body. I began to wonder how long those pieces of litter had been sitting there. This is what people see when they drive through our neighborhood.

The feeling of lukewarm liquid spilling from the squished can onto my fingers made me cringe. I should have brought gloves. “I can’t believe people are this careless,” I said.

As we walked, we saw neighbors raking and trimming plants in their front yards. There was no sign of litter there. We stopped and talked to a few people. “Litter is lazy,” a man told us. “And if you look closely on the streets you will see that it reflects lazy choices in life – things that are cheap and easy to consume.”

Tired but determined, we continued on. As we picked up more trash, all I could hear was the whizzing sound of cars rushing by. Loud music blared from some windows. I couldn’t help but blame every driver. If only there was a better way to catch those who throw trash out of their windows. The litter we gathered began to overflow.

We decided to end our walk by treating ourselves to a tasty snowball from the Pelican’s store a couple of blocks away from my house. While feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, the piña colada flavored ice felt perfectly cool on my tongue. I could not wait to get home to drink a cup of ice-cold water. When we were done with our snowballs, we made sure to throw our cups in the trash can.

Before we left, I heard my friend sigh and say, “I hope the litter we picked up today will not be there again tomorrow.”