Ally Bubb at World Cleanup Day 2020

You know I talk regularly about strengths and leaning into your passions. Those are two keys to a fulfilling career. So today I’d like to talk about something else entirely.

In addition to participating in cleanups in spring and fall (like World Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 18), I regularly pick up trash on my walks through my neighborhood… and in parking lots, while crossing streets… pretty much everywhere, really. 

Is picking up trash one of my strengths? No way! I’m not great at it. I’d say I’m average at best.

Is garbage something I’m passionate about? Not really. I don’t like it and would prefer if it was reduced in amount and then that amount was stored in appropriate ways. That said, I don’t wake up thinking about garbage or go to sleep dreaming about garbage.

Trash cleanup doesn’t use my strengths and it isn’t something I’m passionate about (who dreams of trash, really!). So why would I do it? Because it brings me joy.

I love seeing a place that was covered in garbage magically transformed to clean. It makes my heart feel full knowing that plants, and animals, and people are all safer because of a little time spent. It makes me feel relieved to know that instead of getting paralyzed worrying about all the bad in the world, I can at any moment choose to reach down, grab a piece of trash, and do a tiny bit of good.

Let’s not forget to do the things that bring us joy. They’re often the first items canceled on our calendars, when they should actually be the first thing we schedule each week. And if picking up trash falls into the joy category for you, head outside and grab a little or a lot!

#PositiveAction Schedule at least 1 thing that brings you joy in the next week!

If you’re moving to a lifestyle that is less throwaway and more reusable, I highly recommend the quarterly subscription boxes from Life Without Plastic. It’s a great way to ease into sustainable products!

Photo by me, World Cleanup Day 2020