There’s a lot of us humans.

Roughly 7.6 billion as of right now. When 2050 comes around, we’ll be looking at about 2 billion more.  

That’s a lot of heads. 

This comes with some amazing benefits and some serious challenges. 

One of those challenges is our tendency to be a bit…messy. If you live in a city you might know what I’m talking about. Our city streets tend to not be the cleanest place. 

Skyrocketing population combined with our less than ideal cleanliness has put immense pressure on our aging municipal waste and recycling programs. In many overpopulated cities, there simply is not enough waste receptacles (or folks willing to use them) and this leads to the excess trash finding its way into the street. 

Now one of the amazing benefits of having so many humans on this planet is more minds being used to creatively solve problems. 

In some major cities across the country, folks in their communities are coming together to take some responsibility for their neighborhoods.

They’re called street stewards. These groups commit themselves to taking care of a specific area of their community, doing things like picking up trash, removing debris, and taking care of the natural landscape. 

You can find these groups in cities like San Diego, Portland, and New York.

Now you might argue that it’s not really our responsibility to clean other people’s trash up in our streets. I would challenge you to look at it another way.

Becoming a street steward and taking responsibility for the cleanliness of your community could lead to a more interconnected society. Communities coming together and working alongside one another improves the population’s social connections. Which it turns out is extremely important for our overall health. 

Other cities are joining the war against waste in some really creative ways. 

Philadelphia is using scientific data collection and mapping to keep their streets cleaner.

San Francisco offers incentives to businesses reducing waste and also makes composting mandatory where applicable. 

New York recently banned styrofoam and a few other materials that are incompatible with their recycling systems. 

The fact is most of us out here really do care about our fellow humans and the habitats we call home. 

Share this with someone who values their community!