By Darren Dolezel — RattlingChains.com Staff
Why do people feel the need to throw their waste on the ground?
I’m seriously sick and tired of seeing all sorts of garbage spread throughout disc golf courses and everywhere else. When I have worked all day and want to unwind, I usually head outside, take a walk and try to enjoy nature and my surroundings.
It stinks to look at a beautiful countryside and see garbage on the ground. I’m an environmentally minded person and I don’t throw my trash anywhere other than where it belongs — in a garbage can (or, on the floor of my truck).
As usual, the weekend comes and I can’t wait to grab my bag of discs, a couple of granola bars, something to drink and head to the local course. I get there, warm up and head out.
It doesn’t take long before the excitement wears off.
Near the first tee, I see candy wrappers, empty cigarette packs, soda cans and so on. I get another few holes in and I see beer bottles and more wrappers. The more holes I play, the more garbage I find. I have a pocket in my bag that could be used for disc golf items, but instead I use it for garbage.
Usually by the end of a round, that pocket is loaded with trash, which I put where it belongs — a trash can.
This is a normal occurrence, too. If it was one-time, I could look the other way and chalk it up to a rare thing. But it’s not. And it’s not just one disc golf course. It’s many.
There is an old saying — “don’t crap in your own yard because it stinks.” These courses were put in the ground with a lot of care, so why is it that people need to mess up the beautiful parks?
Not everyone is a litterbug, I know. And I know many disc golfers pick up litter when they see it on a course. But many also walk right by without thinking twice. If you see it, pick it up. If you see someone chuck something on the ground, confront them.
Maybe courses need more trash cans. Maybe people need to think about what they carry with them, knowing there might be trash.
There’s an outdoor game I also participate in — geocaching. It’s a technology based game where one uses a GPS unit to find things that people have hidden throughout the world. We have something called “Cache in, Trash out,” with the idea being if we are hiking to find one of these items, take any trash we find out with us.
Maybe it’s time to have the same sort of thing with disc golf and we can call it “Chains in, Trash out.” That way, we can do our part to try and keep this world beautiful.
Darren Dolezel is the resident creative guy at Rattling Chains. He often finds odd objects to turn into items useful for disc golf. He’ll share these items occasionally at Rattling Chains. He also detests litter in natural settings. If you have an idea you think Darren should try, e-mail him at: darren [at] rattlingchains.com.