Doing your part every day, not just on Earth Day

Leaside Litterati

EcoAnselm, a group of St. Anselm’s Church parishioners. Photo Martha Asselin.
EcoAnselm, a group of St. Anselm’s Church parishioners. Photo Martha Asselin.

It’s been over a month now since Leaside celebrated Clean Toronto Together/Earth Day, yet there are many more stories still to be told.

Sarah Filippi is a member of EcoAnselm, a group of St. Anselm’s Church parishioners who are concerned about the earth, our common home. Through education, communication, action, and prayer, they endeavour to raise ecological awareness and change behaviours to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Iseult Hayden, another member of EcoAnselm, said “We are interested in building bridges with all community members, including other faith-based groups, and we welcome opportunities to learn together how best to protect our environment.”

On a beautiful, sunny, April 22nd Earth Day, 17 St. Anselm’s parishioners eagerly gathered garbage in the area surrounding the Redway Loblaws. “This was our first Earth Day cleanup,” said Sarah Filippi. “It was a successful day with 20 bags of garbage collected including a propane tank and a lead pipe.”

I shared with Sarah that several years ago I spoke to the Loblaws store manager about this situation and he had his maintenance crew clean up the area. It did look better for a while, however I guess it’s back to status quo. Sarah replied: “I am surprised too to see the garbage. But if we can bring attention to this matter then hopefully it won’t be an issue in the future. Everyone should do their part and not just on Earth Day.”

Going to the dogs

Earth Day cleanup. Photo Sarah Wickware.
Earth Day cleanup. Photo Sarah Wickware.

Sara Wickware, Jason Shelly and Jeff Mudge are fellow dog owners, and Sara operates Go Leash Go, a local dog walking and pet services company. The dog lovers have been using the Sunnybrook Dog Park and surrounding trails’ greenspace for years. Inspired by “Clean Toronto Together” and some dog poo complainers on Leaside Community Facebook, they decided to create an event – “Lets’ Doo This” – to demonstrate that dog owners and walkers are community-minded responsible “poop and scoopers.”

Earth Day cleanup. Photo Sarah Wickware.
Earth Day cleanup. Photo Sarah Wickware.

According to Sara, “it was so simple to organize. Jason created a Facebook event, I exchanged three emails with the city to register and arrange a disposal time, and I picked up garbage bags at my local Pizza Pizza. On Saturday morning we arrived bright and early with Timbits and coffee in hand, and commandeered dog walkers and families to join us. Not only did we have fun meeting new people, as a team we managed to pull some giant items out of the woods including a huge tire, a barrel, a couple of signs, as well as several bags of plastic waste!”

They plan to do it again next year, but Sara advises, “If everyone picks up a couple of pieces of trash every time they use a green space, we could cut down on the amount that we need to clean up every spring.  Hopefully, one day there will be no need for the city-sponsored event! Until then we can all do our little part.”

About Cheryl Vanderburg 27 Articles
Cheryl Vanderburg writes the monthly column "Leaside Litterati." She is a local 'plogger' who combines her love of walking with picking up litter. She hopes to inspire all Leasiders to join this newest craze to stay fit and keep our neighborhood green and clean.