As of May 8th, this couple has biked 475 miles and removed over 171 pounds of trash from the environment around them.
They began this journey at Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia.
“Our mission?” Seth and Abby said, “Collect trash and inspire others to leave the environment better than they found it.”
It’s the kind of job that might seem a little mundane, but it has a far-reaching impact on the world around us. Someone has to do it. Every day, every single American generates an average of 4.4 pounds of trash. In a year, we generate 254 million tons. When this trash is left lying around along sidewalks, bike trails, and in national parks and green spaces, it threatens the very ecosystem that we take for granted.
“In West Virginia alone, according to the state’s transportation department, a two-mile stretch of highway yields around 32,000 pieces of refuse.” – The Humane Society.
Litter tossed from traffic puts curious wildlife in danger of becoming roadkill. Birds ingest fishhooks and plastic, mice ingest cigarette butts and chew on plastic bottles. Trash carelessly left around can smother plants, start fires, and attract harmful bacteria. If left alone for too long, these contaminants can seep into the groundwater and have an even bigger impact on the world we call home.
Well, this couple has decided enough is enough and that they’re going to do something to help the problem. Seth and Abby have removed over 43 pounds of trash from the Cumberland Island alone, and 21 pounds of trash from a boat landing that sits on the Altamaha River. Another enormous haul came from a group cleanup at a Nature Preserve near Atlanta: a whopping 83 pounds.
How are they moving all this trash? Well, they’ve got a Bob Trailer. It’s a trailer specifically designed to be towed behind bikes, and it’s been an enormous help.
Their biggest challenge so far, the couple said, has been simply dealing with the constant, unrelenting heat of the American South. It’s getting really warm and humid this time of year – not ideal biking weather – but they’re managing. At this point, they’ve gone beyond Atlanta and are beginning their ascent into the Appalachian Mountains.
“One of the most incredible and equally unnerving aspects of the start of these endeavors is the unknown…. What will tomorrow be like? What type of trash will we find? Where will we sleep?” – Seth and Abby.
It isn’t all stress and smelly trash hauls, though. If the couple’s Instagram is any indicator, they’ve gotten to see some pretty sweet views. Nothing beats waking up to a sunrise just outside your tent, or watching a breathtaking swath of countryside burst into view when you finally crest that hill. It’s a reminder that the planet we call home is beautiful, and we need to take care of it.
If you’re interested in the project, you can connect with the couple on Twitter and watch their progress on their website. They regularly organize group cleanups along their route, encouraging others to get involved, too!