DON’T BE A SH#%TTER, CLEAN UP YOUR LITTER: Steve Clegg
Hello folks, I'm Steve. I enjoy poking things with sticks, heights, that weird feeling you get in your stomach when you quickly go over a hill in a car, and sharing ways for people to experience and appreciate the outdoors. Typically my adventures have taken me to many mountain peaks, but increasingly, I find myself drawn to lake bottoms and river beds. Here, under the water's reflective surface, I see what others often can't; the consequences of our collective consumer culture and personal poor choices of leaving litter behind.
Freediving has given me an outlet for exercise and adventure in all weather. I've swam under blue ice sheets in winter and dove during rain storms when many others are staying warm and dry inside. Once you're wet, you can't get wetter!
Diving provides me the privilege to spend time alongside spawning salmon, to see a beaver enter their underwater lodge opening, and to feel a river's current playfully twist me downstream. However, it also provides me the opportunity to make the underwater world a safer and cleaner space for humans and wildlife alike.
Watching kids jump off docks narrowly missing sharp shards of glass on the bottom and untangling crayfish from snarls of fishing line are visceral reminders of our shared responsibility to steward natural spaces to the best of our own individual abilities. I can dive, so I do. I can hold my breath, so I do. I can get litter out of lakes, so I do. I can only hope you will play to your strengths, too. If you are a hiker, you can pocket that wayward granola bar wrapper. If you are a fisherman, surely your tackle box has extra room for someone's forgotten coffee cup. If communication is your strong suit, perhaps consider having an uncomfortable conversation with someone who walks away from their litter and morals.
Donning a mask and slipping under the surface illuminates the magnitude of the corporate and social challenges ahead. But, sharing the same water as salmon and seeing the challenges facing underwater ecosystems gives me the stamina to keep diving while returning to the surface each time to speak up for the critters who can't advocate for themselves.
Join me and fill your pockets in whatever way you can.