Making a difference

editorial@sierrastar.comMarch 4, 2014 

The group Keep Our Mountains Beautiful (KOMB) has been in existence for seven years. Citizens throughout the area came together to organize twice yearly roadside litter cleanups. Our goals and activities have expanded, and as we enter 2014, it's time to review our accomplishments.

Over the past six years with approximately 1,800 volunteer hours, roughly 800 bags of trash have been picked up off our roadsides. If the bags average 20 pounds apiece, that would be 16,000 pounds of trash, not counting other myriad items retrieved from roadside ravines, such as a toilet, couch, axe, mattresses, box springs, shopping carts, and countless tires.

Picture, if you can, what the area would look like if the roadside litter cleanup events had not taken place. Of course, other trash pickup goes on besides the scheduled cleanup events. Besides the cleanups, KOMB has been instrumental in advocating for the covered load ordinance in Madera County and the installation of a sharps disposal unit in the mountain area (located at the EMADCO office in Oakhurst and the transfer station in North Fork). Also, we've participated in community events such as Earth Day celebrations.

We've published a monthly article for the Sierra Star and sierrastar.com since 2008, providing information and hopefully increasing awareness about recycling and ecological issues that affect us all.

So, have we made a difference? Do you read our articles? As a result of our efforts, are you recycling more? As a parent, are you taking more time to teach your children to be responsible earth stewards? Have you changed some of your practices in reducing, reusing, re-purposing, and recycling the stuff of your life? Do you recycle aluminum cans? cardboard? bottles? plastic? plastic grocery bags? paper? newspapers? Have you adopted a stretch of your neighborhood road to keep picked up? Have you practiced more ethical backcountry behavior? If you're a business owner, are you making more of an effort to reduce your load on the landfill? If you would like to actually respond to these questions, write to us at komb4emc@gmail.com.

Lastly, have you ever participated in a roadside cleanup event? The next one is May 3. If you can donate even an hour , it helps to make a difference.

KOMB has a number of activities planned for the future and wants to get more involved in influencing the younger generation. We believe that our youth need to feel empowered to deal with the problems and challenges facing our environment and community.

We invite interested community members to attend our meetings, join KOMB as a supporting member, or contact us with your ideas.

Written by Sandee Scott, and submitted by Keep Our Mountains Beautiful. For more information regarding KOMB, contact komb4emc@gmail.com.

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