On March 18th, Oakland Tech interns participated in the Annual Litter March, a service learning project by Oakland High. Interns marched along side 100+ other students and community members to raise awareness about the effects litter has on our environment. Over 3,000+ pieces of litter were collected!
Our day started with Earth Team interns from various schools arriving at Jose de la Cruz park early in the morning. We were ecstatic and optimistic about starting the day, and were ready to spread awareness about the dangers of litter to the community around us.
After a brief time we all gathered our signs, grabbers, and trash bags and began our student lead march down the street. As we continued down our path, we held up our vibrant signs and chanted our pro earth slogans such as “Save Earth, Save Yourself!” and “There’s No Planet B!”. Interns picked up multiple pieces of trash from the surrounding sidewalks, streets, and storefronts as we marched. We received multiple smiles and honks from passing cars, encouraging us and showing support for our cause.
At one point we came across a small park where the most trash of the day was picked up. Trash cans were overflowing and the area was close to a bunch of people. The park was engulfed in litter, making it look more like a dumping ground than a place where children and families came to enjoy themselves. We all gathered together to pitch in and help clear up the garbage. After we were done and the park seemed sufficiently clean and rehabilitated, we moved on. We continued on to one of the main streets gaining more attention as we neared the end of our litter march.
The most challenging part of the day was just picking up litter without disturbing the regular routines of community members. Mingling with other interns was fun and we all got along seeing as though we were all in the same boat and knew the challenges one another faced when it came to educating the public.
We ended the day with one big Earth Team chant in which we all joined in and retired our signs and thanked the fellow community members who also participated in the event. Overall, one of the biggest take aways was that people care about what goes on in their community, and just because they don’t start something on their own doesn’t mean they’re not inspired or want to help. The youth organizing events like this and bringing attention to our planet’s litter problem is one of the many steps to help change our world to a more sustainable place.
Written By: Kendall, OT Intern
It was a gloomy day that made you want to stay in bed, but we had to get up and support the cause we believed in. We were all supposed to meet up at the park in the morning. When I arrived I was surprised and happy to see so many people that were going to be with us during the march. I saw so many new faces from so many different schools. It was nice to see interns that did not know each other come together to raise awareness about the litter problem in Oakland. I walked around the area and saw so many creative posters and there were so many ideas they kept working on posters!
A speaker came to talk to us before we departed. He had started a company that picks up litter and he has been doing this for years. He wanted to say that he was overjoyed that so many young individuals were willing to spend time on a weekend picking up litter. His words reminded us that we are doing this to raise awareness for the betterment of Oakland. Then we all grabbed some bright yellow vests, gloves, and equipment to pick up trash and we were off.
We started off by walking up the street and chanting. I instantly saw trash everywhere on the streets. We marched slowly because we wanted to pick up every piece of trash but alas we could not have such a slow march so we continued. There was trash everywhere, under cars, in between fences, and even in the gutters.
We passed by many people and they asked what we were doing. We proudly stated that we were raising awareness about litter and they told us that we were doing a good job. As we continued marching cars began to honk to show support. We were excited to see that our march was working! People in there cars were slowing down to see what were on our signs.
Soon we arrived at a park. It was filled with trash. There was trash in open places, playgrounds, and even in the bushes. Once we had spent over twenty minutes at the park it was time to move on. We cross a bridge with a river under it. And we saw so much trash that was too big for us to be picked up. This made me realized that the litter problem was worse than I thought. We continued walking and still saw so much trash. Trash was even in places people do not normally go to. We finally made it to a busy street and more and more cars started to honk at us. People on the streets were reading all our signs and were surprised to see how much garbage we had collected. We continued till eventually we made it back to the park.
By then we had collected so much trash that everyone felt so accomplished. All the participants gathered around and we all took a photo to commemorate the moment. I walked away feeling extremely happy because I knew that young people care enough about the Earth to organize events to help with the litter problem, but I knew that this was just a start and we had a long ways to go but with the support that we had I know we can do it.
Written By: Lawrence, OT Intern
Thanks for reading!!
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