The sun is shining and Thompson Rivers University and the City of Kamloops are hoping residents will get out and volunteer some extra time during the pandemic to tidy up their neighbourhoods in advance of Earth Day next week.
While the 24th annual Trash Bash event wraps up on April 18, organizers are urging Kamloopsians to get outside, pick up trash where they see it and enjoy nature in the days leading to Earth Day, which is on April 22.
TRU sustainability programs manager James Gordon said the university has run Trash Bash for 24 years, during which it has encouraged employees to clean up the university campus on paid time. The springtime event typically wraps up with a barbecue and prizes. It looks different during the pandemic — but has grown community-wide thanks to the partnership with the city.
Gordon said animals are impacted negatively by garbage left outdoors, particularly plastics on smaller critters.
“We know it can have detrimental effects, certainly, if it [garbage] ends up in our waterways,” Gordon said.
City of Kamloops sustainability supervisor Glen Cheetham said the city typically holds a Green Living Expo close to Earth Day but is unable to do so this year, due to the pandemic.
In addition to participating in the community cleanup this weekend, Cheetham suggested Kamloops residents get outdoors during sunny weather and take time to enjoy and appreciate nature.
“Maybe do some gardening and plant a pollinator-friendly plant with your family,” he said. “And promote habitat for those pollinators that are really important.”
Some pollinator plants include sunflowers, lavender, oregano, Black-eyed Susans and maple trees. Pollinators also need water, so another option is to put out a shallow water dish or bird bath.
Pollinator seeds and plants can be picked up at a local garden centre.