Have you ever been walking through your neighborhood and seen trash lying around? An old soda bottle, or some cardboard, or even a dirty shoe? If you're like me, you might look at it and think “Oh, I wish that wasn't there.” You might even consider picking it up, but then your hands will be dirty and where can you throw it away.... Then you'll end up hurrying off to wherever you were going in the first place, and the bottle (or cardboard or shoe) will be forgotten until you walk past again.
If you remember the trash's existence at a time when you are nottrying to go somewhere else, here's something that I've done a few times that's pretty fun. Block off some time and send yourself on a mission to actually clean up the trash. There are multiple ways to do this, and I'm going to give you some ideas.
You can try going out alone, or maybe with your family or a few friends. Make sure you have plenty of plastic bags (old grocery bags work wonderfully; just make sure they don't have holes). When I did it, we had disposable plastic gloves as well, but they're optional (and also somewhat uncomfortable). Make sure you know where you're going to deposit the trash you collect. Is there a dumpster nearby that has space? Can you put it out with your own trash if it's collected individually?
Finally, go out and actually find things. Big pieces of trash give a good feeling of success, but you'd be surprised how rewarding even just finding scraps of paper and plastic are. After cleaning up an area, it really does look better.
Another option, if you have more time/courage/interest/etc, is to try to enlist your neighbors! You could put up posters (“Neighborhood Cleanup at 11 AM on Saturday, meet at the Smiths' house” or something of the like), distribute flyers (likely saying something similar), tell people verbally and ask them to tell other people, or something else that I haven't come up with yet. In this case you can control and organize more, but you can also decide how much organization you want to do. You could distribute bags or ask people to bring their own. You can divide people into teams and send them out to clean different blocks, or you can simply release your armies into the world and let the wind take them. And, in the event that you end up with barely any people, you can revert to the first option. No group is too small to get at least a little cleaning done.
At the cleanup that I helped with, we found a lot of small things – and a few truly impressive ones, such as:
Complete floor mats for the inside of a car, muddy and cracked.
Large (and small) pieces of broken tile.
At least two mismatched, muddy, torn shoes, found in completely different sectors of the neighborhood.
Matching small green beads to what appears to have been a necklace, spread across at least forty square feet of ground.
There were also countless scraps of paper, cigarette ends, quite a few old lighters, some broken glass, and other similarly sized things. What might you find when exploring the ground of your neighborhood?