Outdoor Tip: Do Your Part & Then Some

Many of us don't have the large, lush backyards that we often see in magazines. Instead, when we're looking to spend some time outside it can be easier to head to a local park or green space, but lately we've been having to pack something in addition to our usual fare: trash bags.

Although many parks are meticulously managed, there are some hidden gems that don't see the same kind of regulation. Even though we'd like to hope everyone who uses communal spaces is picking up after themselves, we've seen a large rash of trash and things left behind that aren't the best for the environment.

We usually rely on trash cans at local parks to dispose of our waste, but we've been starting to pack an additional trash bag and a pair of rubber gloves at the bottom of our picnic baskets. We figure as long as we're enjoying the outside, we might as well help keep it clean while we're out there. Even though things like stray paper or napkins might be mowed over eventually and mulched down, other trash isn't so lucky and can be harmful to animals and small children.

We'd much rather lend a hand for a few fleeting minutes cleaning a space, returning it to its prior beauty in hopes that the next people to use it after us will do the same.

Are you willing to pick up after others? Or would you rather find another spot to hang out this summer?

(Image: Flickr member Editor B licensed for use by Creative Commons. We love that they captured a picture of this "gum" cactus, often hard to find in the wild!)

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