One of the towns I visited recently has a dirty sidewalk problem. It looks like every time it rained, dirt and leaves and stuff wash out of the streets and onto the sidewalks. Pretty messy.
“We did a cleanup project once,” someone said. But dirt, like life, keeps happening.
You’ll have a cleaner town when you start acting like a clean town by cleaning regularly, I said. Then we talked about starting an ongoing sidewalk cleanup campaign, but no one spoke up to take it on. One guy tried to pin it on the chamber director, but I said no.
If no one wants to take the lead, don’t force it on someone. Crowdsourcing is best when it’s something you really want to do.
Then Willow, a business owner, put up her hand and said, “I’ll clean up my sidewalk.”
Perfect! Take pictures, I said. Put it on social media. Hashtag it #CleanYourOwnSidewalkDay and ask everyone to join in. If you hashtag it, it’s a real thing, right?
That’s how the cleaner town will start. It’s better to have one person take one tiny action than to foist a big huge project onto someone or an organization.
Every time you clean your sidewalk, keep posting it and tagging it. Make a big deal out of how everyone can do their own sidewalk, too. Soon enough, someone will join you; maybe a lot of someones.
I think the end result will be that ongoing cleaning they need. It starts, not with pinning the responsibility on someone to do it for everyone, but with one person cleaning their own sidewalk and inviting others to join them.
Keep shaping the future of your town,