Got literally a minute to spare every week? Pick up ten pieces of trash or litter on Tuesday and dispose of it properly!

Tuesday = Trash Day

Dave and I have always tended to pick up trash when we’re out, whether it be on the beach, in the dinghy, on the side of the road or whatever.

Not big “Clean Up Day” stuff, but typically starting by seeing one item, then another, and pretty soon we’d spot a plastic grocery bag and end up filling it . . . and sometimes a second one too. And yes, sometimes we’d even plan to pick up a little trash and bring a bag with us.

It only takes a couple of seconds to pick this up:


Maybe a minute to clean out this ditch (and there’s a fairly clean bag to put the other stuff into):


In Florida, we each picked up what seemed to be miles of monofilament fishing line in the time it took the other one to use the nearby restroom:


A year ago, through the Facebook Women Who Sail* group I learned about the Ten on Tuesday concept to reverse litter. It’s a movement in North Texas to clean up litter, particularly in waterways, by pledging to pick up ten pieces of litter every Tuesday and disposing of it responsibly.

If everyone picks up just a few pieces, it’s not hard work for anyone.  And it’ll make a huge difference. One of the WWS members challenged all of us to pick up a bag of trash when walking the beach. And now I’m passing this challenge on to you.

Maybe we’ll see more gorgeous beaches like that pristine one in the top photo (Isla Coronados near Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico). And fewer disturbing photos such as this one of birds dying from ingesting so much plastic (this was on Midway Island in the middle of the Pacific, near the Great Pacific Garbage Patch):


How about making Tuesday Trash Day a part of your life? Just pick up ten pieces of trash every Tuesday. Who knows, maybe we’ll just forget what day it is and pick up some every day!

You can also help spread the word — “Like” or “Share” this post on Facebook or other social media and/or write your own blog post. Feel free to “steal” any of the images on this post if you want to use them, too.

Thanks to all who DO pick up the trash that others so carelessly throw —


*The Women Who Sail group is a closed group (meaning that you have to request to join) for all women who boat (not just on sailboats, despite the name), formerly boated or dream of boating. It’s a great group of really helpful and supportive women, ranging from complete newbies to those with hundreds of thousands of sea miles.

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  • Ann Patton-Hellmann
    Posted at 29 April 2014 Reply

    Why just on Tuesday? Wherever you are, whatever you are doing ,make yourself useful.

    • Regina
      Posted at 04 May 2014 Reply

      Having a designated day will induce you to make time for it and prepare yourself, from getting the necessary gear, e.g., gloves or sanitizers, bags, etc. to recruiting a friend or relative. Being sporadic does not work for me, there is always something more pressing that has been scheduled. I am so glad that I found this idea. I now can start cleaning up and recruit to clean up our very dirty beaches in Panama.

  • Ann Patton-Hellmann
    Posted at 29 April 2014 Reply

    Great article Carolyn. My wifi is so slow I commented prior to getting to read the article. I totally agree with you!

  • Chris
    Posted at 29 April 2014 Reply

    We did beach cleanup work in California and learned early on two essentials — thick soled shoes and gloves. There is a picture here [ ] of why the shoes are a big deal.

  • Cookie Johnson
    Posted at 29 April 2014 Reply

    Great article. We have always done the same thing, pick up what you see on the trail (hiking) or ski slope! You’d be surprised how easy it is to do and what a difference it makes. We live in a ski town right now that is very pro recycle and clean up, when we move, we hope the next place is the same, if not, we will try to encourage!

  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 29 April 2014 Reply

    What a fantastic idea. Everyone is responsible for our environment.

  • Pat Scott
    Posted at 29 April 2014 Reply

    Whenever I head down to the beach for a walk I always take a trash bag. Amazing the junk you pick up. Lately, lots of straws; what’s up with straws??

  • David Holbourn
    Posted at 29 April 2014 Reply

    excellent idea………..

  • Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream Puff
    Posted at 30 April 2014 Reply

    Challenge accepted!

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

  • Tom and Jackie
    Posted at 30 April 2014 Reply

    Was fortunate enough to be taught this from a young age! Being from the Midwest, I was appalled by the roadside trash when I moved to California and Nevada!!!!! Thank you for reminding me of this noble effort to clean up all of the areas we see in need!!!! P. S. Hope to run into you in the Keys sometime soon. Congrats on the new boat. Sail cat, ( Wave on Wave ) Tom and Jackie Samuelson.

  • Diana K Weigel
    Posted at 05 May 2015 Reply

    Great idea

  • Paula Swaney
    Posted at 05 May 2015 Reply

    I have always required that my children, husband and I find 5 pieces of litter each to bring out of any site where we hike or camp (in addition to our own garbage ). The kids never object and it’s great when we have to hunt around to find our 5 pieces each. I think I will raise it to 10 from here out.

  • Ruth Golden
    Posted at 05 May 2015 Reply

    We bag trash almost everywhere we go; lets keep it going!

  • Chuck Burns
    Posted at 05 May 2015 Reply

    My family has done this for several decades…we cousins started doing it on Cape Cod in the 50s.

  • The Sea and Sailors
    Posted at 05 May 2015 Reply


  • John Norman
    Posted at 17 April 2017 Reply

    Georgie George your well ahead of the game

  • Jessica Heinicke
    Posted at 18 April 2017 Reply

    Good for you guys! We were so disgusted walking through the park today. Plastic Easter eggs everywhere.

  • Denise VanSchaardenburg
    Posted at 08 October 2017 Reply

    Thank you! The more that live by this motto the better. I’m in!

  • Carolyn Ten Holter
    Posted at 09 October 2017 Reply

    This would be a great system to institute literally everywhere!

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