Over on Substack, my mom has published a call for everyone to embrace litter collection as the new cool trend in active living.
I retrofitted a perfectly good grocery buggy someone had abandoned and now use it for days when I want to take on an entire section of street. Do you live here?, an apartment dweller yells down from his balcony. No, I say, But I’m not picky, Garbage is garbage.
Litter’s not always the product of carelessness; it’s not necessarily the work of a deranged sociopath. Sometimes it’s bagged garbage that’s gotten loose, the victim of a hit and run or a strong wind, contents spilled and spreading. Someone has to deal with it. It won’t pick itself up, my mother would say.
A Google search for “what’s the word for picking up litter” informs me that it’s already starting to happen: Merriam Webster calls it “placking”, derived from the Swedish plogging (picking up litter while jogging) itself a portmanteau of plocka upp (Swedish for picking up) and jogging.