(WLAX/WEUX) – There are many ways someone can help their community, and one Eau Claire man decided he would lead change by picking up trash. With the help of friends and family, parts of the Chippewa River are now a little cleaner.
“Every time I go fishing, I try to pick up a bag of trash or so because of you’re not going to do it, no one else will.”
John Ellingsen spent one of his free weekends picking up trash along the Chippewa River in Eau Claire
“Our earth isn’t our landfill. We don’t need to leave all this trash all over.”
He got the idea when from Team Seas, a global fundraiser to help remove 30 million pounds of trash from the ocean. Ellingsen donated to the cause but wanted to do more even if it’s from Wisconsin.
“So, I decided to make this event where instead of maybe if people didn’t want to donate and they just wanted to help the cause they can come out here and pick up trash along the river, the lakes, we went to half-moon…so I just figured I wanted to help do my part picking up the trash since our river goes to the Mississippi River which goes to the ocean.”
Saturday and Sunday, along with friends and family, Ellingsen filled bags and bags of trash, like bottles and plastics.
“Well, when they break apart like that then you get those microplastics in the water, well then the fish and other creatures are eating the microplastics and then we eat those fish, well know we’re eating microplastics, which is not good for anybody. It’s not just our home, it’s the wildlife’s home too.”
“If those cities are as bad as we are that means thousands of millions of tons of trash are going into the ocean just from the United States”
Whether it’s picking up trash or something else, Ellensen says he’s always been interested in lending a helping hand.
“I hope that in the future people will want to continue to do this with me because I really enjoy it.”
He hopes to continue doing his part to keep his community and even the world a cleaner, better place In Eau Claire Leeann Stapleton.