Earth Day is often a time for people to reflect on what they could be doing to live a greener lifestyle. For RETSD trustee Rod Giesbrecht, he'll be too busy cleaning up his community to take time to reflect.
Since the pandemic broke Transcona-area residents can often find Mr. Giesbrecht out for a walk and picking up any litter he finds along the way.
"It's mostly plastic and paper I find, but at times I've picked up tires, car batteries, windows and doors, hub caps, cribs, and full pails of paint," he said. "You could literally spend a day in some fields."
Mr. Giesbrecht keeps track of his efforts and estimates that he picked up 18,500 pounds of litter last year and 4,000 pounds of recyclables.
At times he's been rewarded for his perseverance, having discovered $95 in bills and change along the way. One time, when he was picking up trash along Lagimodiere Boulevard, a man stopped his car and handed Mr. Giesbrecht a $50 gift card as thanks for his work.
He's also developed a bit of a following on a Transcona community Facebook page, where he regularly posts pictures of interesting finds. Once, when his truck broke down and he had to leave a pile of garbage behind, he posted about it on the Facebook page only to go back later and find the pile had been cleared.
"Thank you very much to whoever did that," he said.
When asked if he had any Earth Day advice for people, Mr. Giesbrecht simply replied, "Next time you go for a walk, take a bag with you!"