Do your part to save the planet

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Last year, when I was out picking berries I lost my watch. This year, I was once again picking in the same area and I spotted something silvery and metallic. I picked it up and there was my watch and it was still running. I was quite surprised because, to be honest, I had forgotten about losing it.
I guess the berry picking gods were smiling on me. Or it could be just luck. Either way I got my watch back.
So, you just never know what you might find when picking berries because I am sure I am not the only one who lost something. Humans tend to lose things. Watches, jewelry, wallets, cellphones, lighters. If it is with them, there is the chance it will get lost. This is true of the bush and in town.
If you are picking berries anywhere near a road or a place where people go, you will probably encounter the occasional piece of litter and the closer you get to the places the more you will find. I like to call it the trash trail. Beer cans, pieces of plastic and paper that have gotten blown around and things that people just dump.
On a recent trip down the Vee Lake road, I found a pile of four tires, a small freezer, a couple of air conditioners and a spot where a family with a couple kids had camped and they left behind a lot of junk and garbage including probably a hundred or more disposable diapers. And along the road the usual collection of beer cans, coffee cups, fast food containers and at the Vee Lake boat launch a jug full of used motor oil.
Some of the stuff was dumped because I assume people did not want to pay the city’s dump fees and some because people like to litter and drink and drive. Walk along any road in the NWT and you will see much the same thing. I just don’t get it. Maybe some people think the world is a dump, so they might as well turn it into one. There is very little value to most of the stuff but cleaning it up is quite expensive.
Small litter I will pick up but the bigger items, if I took them to the dump, then I would have to pay the dumping fees, which could be considerable. But they would be a fraction of what it will cost the city or GNWT to clean up the area. So maybe the city should waive the fees if you are bringing in someone else’s garbage.
Sometimes along the roads, boat launches and lakes that people frequent, you do find more valuable things that have fallen or gotten blown out of vehicles and boats. Things like life jackets, canoe paddles, tools and camping gear. Sometimes you can find the rightful owners if you try and put ads on the lost and found sites, but other times it’s a case of finders keepers.
Often if someone is working on a vehicle, they will set a tool or pair of gloves on the bumper of their truck, forget about it and drive away. Then when they hit a bit of a bump it falls off. So, if you keep your eyes on the road you might find them.
One time as I was driving down the road, I started to notice stuff. A cooler, still with some food in it, then a sleeping bag, an axe and a gas can. I stopped and picked them up as I came to them. Then a little farther along a truck towing a boat had stopped. Their tailgate had fallen down and hence every time they hit a bump, they lost something.
Another time I found one of those bales of pink insulation that had obviously fallen off of a truck. So, you just never know what you may find beside a road while you drive out to do some berry picking.
Hopefully if it is something valuable you will try to find the owners. As for the trash and dumped appliances or tires, this should be reported to the city or GNWT Department of Transportation so at least they know where the stuff is. If you want to save the planet everyone has to do their part.

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