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Walk your human, pick up litter, and earn rewards | Environment

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Walk your human, pick up litter, and earn rewards
Walk your human, pick up litter, and earn rewards

It's a way to get some exercise, keep your walking path tidy, and earn rewards.

"I walk about 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day. I have my pedometer on," Susie Stout said.

She's not just walking. Susie Stout is also picking up litter.

"I did Turkey Creek Greenway one time and I got 34 gallons, that's one of the big black trash bags full," she said.

She's part of a Keep Knoxville Beautiful program called Green Miles.

Allison Teeter is Executive Director.

"We want people to get out there and exercise. But as you're exercising we want you to exercise in a clean area. So we encourage people at their own pace to pick up litter," Teeter said.

Green Miles is a membership rewards program for Keep Knoxville Beautiful members. It costs $25 to join. You get a pedometer and a litter picker so you don't even have to bend over to pick up trash. You report your miles to earn t-shirts and other rewards.

"It's not like you have to do it every time you go out. You can just do it once a week or twice a week. And it makes you feel really good when you walk by the same place and it's still clean," Stout said.

Teeter suggested, "If you're doing Green Miles we really just want you to reuse plastic grocery bags and go out and pick up litter. And so that you don't re-litter it actually helps to put something heavy in the bottom like a rock or something else as your first pickup item."

Most days, Susie Stout takes her dog Chipper with her as she walks.

"I really like to have something with me and he's a great companion. He also will pick up the occasional plastic bottle although he thinks it's more off a toy than picking up litter," she said.

Chipper is the mascot for Green Paws. It's a companion program to Green Miles that encourages dogs to walk with their Green Miles humans.

Picking up litter is a bonus.

Teeter said, "We want it to be cleaner and greener and more beautiful and that means you've got to get outside and enjoy it."

Enjoy a more beautiful Knoxville.

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