A Red Deer family likes to do its part in keeping the neighbourhood as clean as possible.
Many times when Leanne Botha and her three children – 13-year-old Bella, five-year-old Lalie and three-year-old Hendrik – head out for a walk in the Morrisroe neighbourhood, they remember to bring a garbage bag with them to pick up trash along the way.
“I grew up on a farm,” said Botha, who is originally from Saskatchewan.
“We didn’t really have garbage blowing through there. We’d keep our own yard clean and that’s all we’d have to do. We didn’t really have to worry about other people’s trash.”
When Botha moved to the city, she started seeing trash that either blows out of people’s garbage cans or was thrown onto the ground.
“I think a lot of times, nobody notices the garbage anymore. There may be so much of it sitting in the bottoms of trees and bushes,” she said.
“It just always looked ugly to me, so I just started to pick up when I’d be out pushing a stroller.”
Botha said her mother does the same thing.
“I guess I probably got it from her. My parents moved to Red Deer three or four years ago and my mom is very much the same way.”
Every spring, the family likes to do a big clean to start the season.
“Once the snow melts we do a cleanup around our yard and just around the gutters,” she said.
“I give them each a pair of tongs and we pick everything up. As soon as the snow melts they’re like, ‘It’s time to get the tongs out.’ Then we clean up around our yard. We live in a neighbourhood where there are quite a few elderly people, so we’ll go clean up around there too.”
Many in the neighbourhood are good with keeping the trash clean around their yards, Botha added.