Last week on Earth Day, 26 Island beaches were cleared of empty bottles and cans, plastic odds and ends and other debris. The beaches are much the better for it; 250 volunteers filled 250 bags.
It is fun to find an occasional treasure on a Vineyard beach after the long winter, but such treasures are few and far between. So the annual Earth Day Cleanup sponsored by the Vineyard Conservation Society is welcome each spring.
But Island roadsides, sad to say, do not fare so well. Although there are cleanups of state roadsides by prisoners from the Edgartown jail, town roads, Vineyard Transit Authority waiting areas and Steamship Authority waiting areas and parking lots are all too often littered with paper cups and plates, plastic bags, soda and water and beer bottles. Even garbage bags that fall from the backs of trucks on the way to the dump are often not picked up.
One day last week a trucker filled a whole trash can with litter on a single trip around Lambert’s Cove.
Tourists come to the Vineyard for the beauty of its landscape. It would be nice if residents and visitors alike made more effort to keep the Island beautiful. Perhaps each walker on these lovely spring days could take along a small bag for picking up litter.