even if you didn't clean your room today on waking up, you surely brushed your teeth. a sense of cleanliness is ingrained in us since childhood (was your mom also constantly harping about cleanliness being next to godliness?) so we take pride in maintaining a clean appearance in body and surroundings of home and workspace.
define your playground
as an off-road and adventure riding enthusiast, i'm always playing outdoor whether back country rounds, forest trails, mountain sides or desert sands. these are my playgrounds and where i feel happiest exploring, with or without my favorite playmates. it's only natural that i accept responsibility to maintain these playgrounds for future expeditions; mine or others'.
these playgrounds could be our own backyards merely a stone's throw away from home or remote regions one couldn't even find on a map. what matters is that embrace it as my own and care to nurture it likewise. after all if i don't, who will? as modern humans, we've long grown lazy and begun offloading responsibility to institutions.
it's time to reclaim the power of individual action and ensure these playgrounds are around to play in forever. for me it's simple - if my tyres roll over it, it's mine! the responsibility ie. to care for and protect or support it's sustenance for posterity. forget saving the planet, i'm just about saving my playground.
many hands make light work
once you embody this philosophy of independent responsibility and action, it's easy to inspire others to join in and help keep the playground clean. you don't really have to shout yourself hoarse, actions speak louder than words. setting an example has stronger ripple effects than you might imagine.
i carry garbage bags with me when i ride and always carry back as much of it as i can. it's not about how much i clean up and whether it even makes a difference. i'm building a habit of not only cleaning up my own mess (don't trash) but also others who've played there before me. if everyone i ride with follows suit, we're building a sense of belonging harnessed for betterment of all.
social media allows everyone and their dog to amplify ideas and opinions. we can amplify these actions as well and remind the community of off-road and adventure riders to keep our playgrounds clean. the more the merrier they say so i ask you - what can you do to amplify this today?
reward the good or punish the bad?
before you exercise righteous indignation against those trashing the playground, consider this conundrum. should you spend more energy on punishing wrong doing or rewarding right doing? this is a matter for individual contemplation as well as community action.
maybe we can as a group establish a reward system to encourage riders to clean up after themselves. post pictures on social media of yourselves cleaning up trails. organize monthly or quarterly rides with the exclusive intent to clean up a certain area that your group has adopted as their own.
be the change you want to see. if you focus on what people are doing wrong that's all you're gonna see which is making your head a messy space as well. instead let's focus on what we can doing right and keep our trails (and heads) clean af.
this is my journey with motorcycles and mud, wanna ride with me?