Green Wishing on the New Jersey Seashore

This past week, my wife and I travelled back east to Stone Harbor, New Jersey. This is truly one of my most favorite places on Earth. The main purpose of the visit was to visit my 99 year-old maternal grandmother, Wilma-ma. We had a glorious trip, spent some great moments on the beach, ate extremely well (fresh-caught flounder cannot be beaten!) and shared some special times with Wilma-ma. I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have been coming here for the past 40 years, and overjoyed to now be sharing it with my wife, Amy.

Across the country, New Jersey...and especially "the Jersey Shore" suffers from some misconceptions and bad press. Some folks may think of the MTV dufuses and others may think of crowded, dirty urban beaches. Southern New Jersey--and Stone Harbor--are so far from these ideas with beautiful, wide, soft-sanded, dune-lined beaches. The borough of Stone Harbor has long been on leading edge of protecting the environment with MANDATORY recycling for the past 20 years and an active fleet of beach combing machines that help ensure that the beaches are clean and (relatively) free of debris and litter.

While the town, and most visitors to S.H. are very conscientious, there are some folks who thoughtlessly leave a trace :( when they head to our precious beaches. So, Amy and I gladly added some green wishing to our walking, running, sand-castle-building and taking regular dips in the "wooder" (Philly and South Jersey accents are a riot!).

For the most part, the beaches were clean. That being said, in the vast amount of space that the SH beaches cover, there were plenty of small green wishes for us to do a whole lot of work. We discovered: sunglasses, straws, plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic water bottles and wrappers, glass (and a few pieces of very cool SEA GLASS), Mylar balloons (sans Falcon Heene), and SO DANG MANY CIGARETTE BUTTS (future posting about cigarette butts coming soon!) Fortunately, Stone Harbor beaches make green wishing easy, with plenty of trash cans and recycling receptacles.

It does bring us pleasure to do our part to help make Stone Harbor--and the world a cleaner, greener place. Out of the hundreds of green wishes that we picked up, I offer these two for public consumption:

1. I sincerely hope that all visitors to Stone Harbor--and all beaches in the US and around the world--recognize that it takes very little effort to keep these beaches free from trash and start GREEN WISHING!

2. I wish that the people in Ames, Iowa recover soon from the recent devastating floods they have faced. This is a wonderful community with very kind, caring people. I would encourage anyone wanting to help to contact the local Lincoln Way Chapter of the American Red Cross to make a donation.


The Green Wish Mission

Our mission is to foster plans, actions and wishes towards a greener, cleaner and healthier Earth!


Thoughts on Water Bottles

Regular visits to my favorite local park (Sloan's Lake) have made me realize many things--like many people don't care about putting their water bottles (labels & lids TOO) in the trash. Well, their carelessness gives me green wishes.

Some thoughts on these dang bottles:
  1. Try to use reusable bottles whenever possible
  2. When purchasing bottles of water like these, make a commitment to RECYCLING them! This may mean taking it home with you (if your park does not have a recycling bin). And that goes DOUBLE for the lids and labels that always seem to avoid finding a home in the trash.

My green wishes for today came from 2 water bottle lids, one water bottle label, 3 straws and some kind of candy wrapper:

  1. The BP well is once and forever capped and sealed.
  2. Recent rain in CO brings happiness to all gardens in the state.
  3. The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan's Lake goes off without a hitch and without too much litter piling up in the park.
  4. Plans for the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market (being held October 2 in North Denver) continue to move forward as a fantastic community event!
  5. Wishes #5 and #6 are given up to others. If you read this....please feel free to take one and make it your own!

Happy Wishing!


Tips for Being a Successful Green Wisher!

As you come to this blog, you may ask yourself: "How the heck do I do this green wishing stuff? Is it as simple as it sounds?" The answers are so very easy!

As you wander, run, roll or stroll down the street, path, or beach just start being aware of the trash that you see. Only now when you see the trash, don't be disgusted or angry that there is some litter messing up your pretty spot--instead see the litter as an opportunity to LOVE your surroundings and to have a wish (any wish) granted for you or the EARTH!

Some basic DOs in Green Wishing:
  • pick up items large and small
  • no amount of trash is too little and well...you can keep picking up until there is no more to pick up!
  • use glove or pet waste bags to pick up any "gross" items
  • always remember to wash your hands after you have gone green wishing
  • recycle whenever possible
  • spread the word about the Green Wish Foundation and why you are picking up trash
  • keep track of what you pick up and let us know!
  • MAKE SURE TO USE YOUR WISHES--remember that you can send them to friends and loved ones!

Some basic DON'Ts in Green Wishing

  • don't pick up dangerous items
  • don't pick up an item unless you know what it is
  • don't worry so much about picking up paper items/tissues that are in the late stages of decomposition

These are just some basics. More fun ways to build green wishing into your life coming soon!

Happy Wishing!


Taking the GREEN WISH Show on the Road to Crested Butte, Colorado

This Fourth of July, I ventured westward in Colorado to some of the most beautiful country in the world. The ultimate destination of the trip was Crested Butte, but along the way (and the return) there were adventures in/at Cottonwood Pass, Taylor Lake and Waterfall Creek Trail outside CB (oh and a quick stop at a thrift store in Selida, CO!). My trusted companion, pathfinder and tent-set-up expert was one Amy B Yetman. She is a whiz on the tent set up as well as tent-site-selection.

Additional members of the Yetman family made the trip as well (Duncan, Cinder, Thelma-Lou and Gus Bergan-Yetman)! A good time was had by all--and that means hiking, cooking out, singing by the campfire and snuggling for sure! AND OF COURSE...there was ample time for Green Wishing--there always is.
It seems that many folks in this part of the country were living by the credo of "Leave No Trace". This is always important, but especially when dealing with such beautiful areas such as the Colorado Wilderness.

The campsites were generally clean (not clean enough to keep Amy and me from each getting a couple of wishes) as were the roads. That being said, wind is sometimes a culprit in going in opposition to the "Leave No Trace" ideal and the pictures on this post show an ice bag (Green Wish as I like to call it!!!) that got away from someone. I also found an OLD beer can with a pull-tab top.
So two simple green wishes for me:

1. That this part of the country continue to be protected and respected by all who live, work and play in it.

2. That others in the world take the time, while recreating (on hikes, rides, etc) to make Green Wishes!

Finally, kudos to all hikers on the Waterfall Creek Trail outside Crested Butte. Both Amy and I (and Gus and Duncan) were SKUNKED in our green wishing! A nearly 3 hour hike and not a single piece of trash. We happily came home empty handed from this one.

1st green wish haiku:
wonderful trip, YES!
will do green wishing here
happy to do it.

Happy Wishing!


Add New Meaning to This Year's INDEPENDENCE DAY!

This July 4th weekend, as you celebrate our nation's forefathers declaring independence from tyranny...why not personally declare independence from the anger, frustration, sadness and disgust you feel from seeing your favorite park or open space being spoiled by TRASH!

Take a few moments during the camping, bbq-ing, boating, recreating and generally celebrating, please try to do your part to help make this YOUR greenest 4th of July ever. Find some trash and pick it up...all 4th of July you will have good luck!

For some of you who are old enough, this video may serve as a reminder of how litter has been a huge problem in our country for far too long....

Happy Green Wishing!


Tuesday Musings on Green Wishing

As my wife and I ran this morning, we happened upon a lot of trash in our neighborhood. It probably was about the average amount of trash for a neighborhood, but far too much for my liking. So I picked up a bunch (6 pieces: 2 booze bottles [one small the other travel size], a water bottle wrapper [there seem to be a lot of those lately], two soda cans [crushed] and a Doritos bag) and figured that what I got was "enough." You have to sometimes allow that what you did was enough.

This morning I will focus my green wishes on one broad goal:
  • I wish that the Green Wish Foundation has a bright and abundant future.
  • (To be specific) I wish that old and young alike join in the idea of taking responsibility for cleaning up a park, beach, street, etc that they care about.
  • I wish that parents and adults use the Green Wish Foundation to help teach children the importance of respecting and cherishing the earth--on a local and global level.
  • I wish that there will be a better recognition by habitual litterers that what they are doing is wrong and spoils other people's wishes.
  • I wish that this effort will grow not only through the world wide web, but also through people WITNESSING green wishes in action.
  • I wish that my parks, my streets, my world will grow greener, cleaner and happier as a result of this specific green wish (oh...and because of some people picking up trash, too!).

Stay tuned...tips on green wishing coming your way soon!


Roosevelt National Forest Campsites Looking Pretty Dang Good

This weekend, I made an exploratory visit to the Roosevelt National Forest in northern Colorado about 40 miles west of Ft. Collins. I was happily joined on this trip by navigator Amy (wife) and security officer, Gus (doggie).

We ventured on dirt roads to the Tom Bennett campsite just a few miles from the Rocky Mountain National Park boundary.

Our inspection (simply enjoying, eating good food & smores, joke telling, dreaming) revealed a very well maintained campsite with very little rubbish around. Still, for experienced green wish seekers like us, it was not too difficult to find some stray pieces of trash from previous campers.

A plastic fork and the plastic tie from a loaf of bread were the most notable specks of trash had on this visit. Kudos to previous campers for "leaving no trace!" We're happy to help with these two pieces as they now give Amy and me (Gus has declined participation in the actual wish making) two green wishes.

They are as follows:

Doug: I wish that the Atlantic Hurricane season is mild as to not exacerbate the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Amy: I wish all dog owners would be more conscientious about picking up dog poop when they walk their doggies.


Record Day for Sloan's Lake Green-Wishing!

I must give credit where credit is due: the parks department working at Sloan's Lake in Denver generally do a great job! The park is a busy place with regular picnics, people chatting, playing games, running, walking, biking and so much more...it is a wonder that the place is not overrun by litter.

That being said (always the bad with the good) there were endless green wishes to be had today. Once around the lake and my hands were full for each trash can I passed.

Among the pieces picked up today: a Crystal Geyser water bottle label, an Enfamil formula packet, a blue Dentyne package, countless straws, a wrapper of something with all sorts of unrecognizable ingredients, one cut zip-tie, numerous water bottle lids (come on people...those were dropped on purpose) and the fortune from a fortune cookie (it read: What is hidden in an empty box? Egg --don't really get it, but I still get the wish!)

So my picking up today was complimented by a nice man working for the city on a John Deere four-wheeler. He scooted around on his machine with a long grabber doing a heck of a good job. He pulled up next to me and I proudly told him that for each piece of trash, I get a wish! I probably should have let him in on the secret--even though it was his job, he is still entitled to make some green wishes. I hope he gets them someday.

So today, I offer a few public green wishes; the rest I will keep private and put towards very worthwhile and beneficial things!

1. I hope that this summer is a productive one of fighting the dreaded pine bark beetle infestation that is destroying so much of the Colorado forests.
2. I hope that instead of the political and social demonizing over the science of global climate change, people of all kind simply start to make choices in their own lives that show an increasing respect for the Earth and for what are limited and valuable natural resources.
3. (Closer to home) I hope that my struggling Thai Hot Pepper plant finds her roots. The heat is killing her now and I worry about her in the hot summer days ahead.
4. That anyone reading this makes a green wish sometime in the next week!

Happy wishing...


Morning Run Yields 4 Green Wishes!

An early morning run can be a bit tough on the body sometimes, but it almost always is very easy on the soul!

I hit Sloan's Lake this morning at about 6:30 for my regular loop and ended up doing a little Green Wishing while I was at it. The kid's jungle gym area and main parking lot provided me with a great way to get the morning started right. (Sadly, there are almost always green wishes to be found there).

I happlily took out four pieces of trash: a Hostess cherry pie wrapper, an empty Squirt can, a plastic picnic fork (in two pieces) and a granola bar wrapper were the prizes for the day. And just like that...WEEEHOOO: FOUR GREEN WISHES FOR ME!

Green Wishes for today (or thus far in the day):

1. I wish that the Green Wish concept grows and encourages others to take an active role in cleaning up their most treasured green spaces!
2. I wish that our garden has another bountiful year, with tomatoes, basil, peppers, raspberries (and more) in such abundance that we can share with many others!
3. I will keep this one private for my own dreams. :)
4. I leave one wish available for the taking...if you read this first, it is YOURS! Just post back to say you got it! Happy Green Wish!


A wish is a dream your heart makes....

Who doesn't like wishing upon a star? Who doesn't get excited when a they find penny?! Well I certainly do! And when I happen upon a piece of litter, messing up my favorite park (Sloan's Lake in Denver) I feel a great sense of satisfaction by helping out. The little bit of effort that I put forth in delivering that trash to its rightful place in the trash can is well worth a green wish!

My green wish today is simple: I wish that that horrible well in the Gulf of Mexico would stop...just STOP already!


Welcome to the Green Wish Foundation

Hello World...It's us! Yes, we who care about our parks and open spaces, we who are saddened by the proliferation of trash and litter everywhere, we who are ready to do something about it to help clean up our own little neck of the woods! We are the Green Wish Foundation.

The concept is simple: "Find some trash. Pick it up. All day long you'll have good luck." With this simple thought and action, we can not only improve our environment, but we can pass on to younger generations the experience of taking action to help make our world a cleaner, more livable place.

Through this blog and our website www.greenwishfoundation.org concerned citizens can bring their green wishes to life! We hope to offer tips on how you can "adopt" local parks and open spaces and keep them clean and free of trash in the name of the Green Wish Foundation. Additionally, we will offer simple, easy to use tips for helping establish and promote clean Green Wish sites, as well as offering templates and tools to help concerned citizens effectively advocate for clean parks with local governements and parks departments.

Most importantly, this organization is dedicated to passing on the idea of the Green Wish to the next generation! We aspire to help facilitate children learning the value and benefit of taking action towards a cleaner, greener world. With each piece of trash or litter that is picked up (and appropriately deposited in a nearby trash receptacle :) a person (regardless of how young or old they are) receives a wish...for something special for themselves or for the world.

It is an easy proposition...just start picking up trash and let the green wishes start rolling in!