Remember that time of year when the snow banks have melted to reveal the garbage that was haphazardly tossed into the fluffy white abyss in the dead of winter, and is now a rotten mess found along the edges of parking lots and river banks? You know what I'm talking about? That time of year is now.

As Mother Nature unearths winter's secrets to reveal the yellow grass that is eagerly waiting to turn bright green and the trees are itching to bud new leaves, there lies the trash that people threw around during the -30*c winter we just endured.

Conveniently, with today being Earth Day, I've partnered with Glad to help spread the word about keeping our city clean. As I've said many times on this blog, I'm transitioning my lifestyle to the green, eco-friendly side of things so it's important to me that I make an inclusive transition that encompasses every facet of my life, including my environmental surroundings.

Ottawa is a pretty active city with no shortage of amenities to aid in getting your outdoor fix. One of my absolute favourite places in the city is along the edge of the Ottawa River at Westboro beach. Not only is this one of the best places to catch the sunset, it's also easy access to the bike path that you can cruise right into the downtown core, and a great spot to sit and catch some of the rays of sunshine on a hot summer afternoon.

The only downfall to this? How could there be a downfall when I just spoke so highly of it! Well, not every person in the city sees the importance of keeping litter off the ground! Just the other day I watched someone throw an empty pop bottle out of their car window in moving traffic!

I do my best to recycle at home, compost when I can, and keep my trash in the bins where it belongs, but that's a small contribution in the grand scheme of things. Next weekend, join Glad for Capital Cleanup Weekend! If you can't register a team in time for next weekend's big event, the Spring Cleaning the Capital program runs from April 15-May 15. Find out more about Glad's Cleaning the Capital here! 

Form a team and dedicate 20 minutes of your time to clean an area of the city. 20 minutes is just one episode of a Netflix show or a lot of mindless scrolling through Instagram! With the weather warming up and the sun shining, it's a great opportunity to get a group of friends together and pick up some litter. I know it doesn't sound like a glamorous way to spend the weekend, but if everyone makes a small contribution think of how big of a contribution that equates to! As an added bonus, make a brunch reso for after the cleanup and cheers your mimosas for the difference you're making in Ottawa.

This post was brought to you in partnership with Glad. All opinions are my own. 

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Maira Gall