A few months ago, I was in my car and my jaw hit the floor when I saw someone stand up through a sunroof and toss a bag of garbage in a McDonald's bag onto the grass near a stop sign.  They weren't throwing it at a garbage can because there wasn't one there.  They just threw the trash out the window like it was going to magically disappear.

FYI, it doesn't.

Garbage and seagulls
kanvag ThinkStock
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How Much Waste Do Minnesotans Produce Each Year?

You would think that a state that values its lakes so much that it would be a little bit more conscious about "saving our Earth".  The data that has been collected recently shows that my assumption is incorrect.  According to sahanjournel.com, the metro area of Minnesota produces 3.3 million tons of waste each year.  Thanks to a new plan being implemented, that number needs to hold steady as changes are implemented in the Twin Cities area to increase composting and recycling efforts.

Other areas of our states aren't getting gold stars either but change is in the works in many cities.  And just think, way back when I was in school, recycling was a brand new word for all of us.  We have come a LONG way since those days of writing on recycled paper that was a grayish color and didn't really work with pencils.

Man Holding Recycling Bin
Monkey Business Images ThinkStock
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One Minnesota City Has Made Huge Strides In Trash and Litter

When I've been driving around or out on a walk, I can't help but notice the litter that often tarnishes these beautiful spaces.  And the past few years, I've grabbed a pair of gloves, a trash bag, recycling bag, and set out to make a difference, one piece of litter at a time.

I wish I could say that I came up with this idea to "pick up litter" all on my own but it was all thanks to a cause called "A Litter Bit Better" in Rochester, Minnesota.

What is A Litter Bit Better in Rochester, Minnesota?

A Litter Bit Better is a campaign that started in 2007.  Every year, except during the pandemic, people go out during a specific time frame in the spring and help collect litter throughout the Rochester, Minnesota area.

Rochester Litter Bit Better 2019
Throwing it back a bit to 2019 - Jessica Williams, Samm Adams (Townsquare Media)
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How Can You Help With A Litter Bit Better in Rochester?

One of the easiest ways you can help is by volunteering with A Litter Bit Better.  Here are a few steps to be part of this amazing event:

  • You pick a place on a map that is still needing help getting cleaned up.
  • You sign up and say "I'm in!".
  • Figure out when you are going to go out on your own, with family, friends, or co-workers to help clean up all of the litter in that area.  (This year, the Litter Bit Better pickup dates are between April 27th until May 5th, 2024.)
  • Pick up garbage bags and recycling bags from the designated areas.

I'd love to see photos of your group helping A Litter Bit Better!

Our radio family at Townsquare Media in Rochester will be out soon to help make our Earth a cleaner place.  I'll post photos over on my Facebook page - Jessica On The Radio - when we put those gloves on.  Give it a follow to check those out.  And, if you go out to pick up garbage, snap a selfie and send it to me on my page or tag me.  I'd love to see those selfies of you giving back.

Townsquare Media crew in 2023
Townsquare Media crew in 2023
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Places in Minnesota with Free Stuff for you on your Birthday

It's your BIG day and although you may not always want to celebrate adding another number to your age, there are several places in Minnesota that want to celebrate YOU! Check out the list and start making a plan to visit all of these on your next birthday.

Gallery Credit: Jessica On The Radio