Just before a recent trip to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, I decided to pack a couple of “seconds” mugs to leave in the woods for hikers to find, just for fun. I’d been wanting to do this kind of thing for years. Well, on the Saturday morning of my departure I grabbed the mugs from my backseat and headed towards the Great Smoky National Park. If you’ve never been to the park, put it on your bucket list! I decided to leave the first down by the river, and filled out a little card that explained that “this cup is not lost, it was put here for you to find”. Well, upon my pulling off I realized, this could be considered littering seeing as how it’s a national park and all. I almost immediately knew what the solution must be. I’ll pick up garbage! I thought to myself, i’ll pick up ten pieces of garbage for every mug I leave in it’s place! As a lover of nature this idea excited me to my core! I only had two mugs so I figured if I tried hard I could find 20 pieces of garbage. Boy was I in for an eye opening ride! I picked up ten pieces of garbage in the first mile of driving.
As my front passenger side floorboard began to fill I decided to stop and leave my second mug. With this one I left a note reading, “If you find this mug I have picked up at least ten pieces of garbage. #cleanupthewoods #potsinthewoods”
I continued my journey knowing I hadn’t quite figured out my new concept, but it would have something to do with replacing garbage with pottery. I only had two mugs with me that day, but I couldn’t stop with the garbage.
Upon arriving back at home I told my story to my husband. He immediatly came up with the idea of replacing the garbage with pottery pound for pound. Eureka! I can’t wait for my next opportunity to use this idea!
Until then, I want to close with this thought. Why not just pick up garbage every day, everywhere I go? I’m going to try to be that person who doesn’t step over the smooshed plastic mountain dew bottle in the grocery store parking lot. I won’t succeed all of the time, but I’m going to make an effort.