George and Marian Moyer, a retired couple that volunteered in the Keep RC Beautiful spring county-wide litter sweep, are two Rutherford County citizens actively combatting the area’s litter problem. The couple moved from Pennsylvania to Rutherford County in September 2012 after marrying in the same year. George had admired a plot of land for sale in Rutherfordton since 2006, and the couple purchased that land and designed their own log cabin to share. The two certainly miss their family who remain in Pennsylvania, but they found a calling in Rutherford County to help stop littering, keeping their homesickness at bay.
George and Marian began focusing on the litter problem not long after moving to the county. The couple feels that litter is a worldwide problem, but that they have a civic duty to help combat this problem, and Keep RC Beautiful provided an outlet for them to collaborate with others. Chatting with the couple revealed more than just a dislike for litter.
Question: Why do you both care about keeping Rutherford County clean, and why did you participate in the Keep RC Beautiful litter sweep?
George: "Both of us have always been against seeing people litter. We talked about it, and once we saw the article about Keep RC Beautiful meetings in the paper, we decided to learn more and participate in the organization. We hate to see trash along the roads, and if we don’t do something about the litter, who will?"
Marian: "You would think people would just wait until they got home to throw away their trash."
G: “It is particularly upsetting when you are with people who bring beer and drinks into a place and they cannot take their cans and bottles out with them.”
M: “It’s sad that we have to do it, but someone has to keep the county clean. We have to teach others to be good stewards of the environment.”
Q: What area did you clean? What all did you do there?
G: “We cleaned the area around the Walmart shopping center. I proposed it to the Rutherford Lions Club to gain their support. Marian contacted people in our development and we brought it to the attention of the church we attend – Rutherford Presbyterian Church. We also helped contact numerous individuals through phone calls and emails to rally support for the spring litter sweep.”
M: “We had 17 people in our group, and we also cleaned the area around Fatz, the parking lot of the old Ryan’s building, and the hotel near Fatz. We figured we could round up enough support to clean those areas over the span of a few days.”
Q: Why is being environmentally conscious, especially in such a small county, important?
G: “If we do our part herein Rutherfordton, hopefully we will plant a seed that will blossom and spread. Other counties will see what we are doing and the movement towards keeping the environment clean will carry on to even farther locations. We are just a small part, and we hope that what we do will grow and expand to other areas.”
M: “It has to start small and somewhere. I agree with George. If people riding through the county see how clean our streets are, they may take initiative in their own areas.”
Q: Any takeaways and/or teaching moments from the clean-up?
G: “A lot of people passed us by while we cleaned. No one said a word to us.”
M: “But one person stopped by and told us thank you. He rolled down his window and thanked us for what we were doing.”
Q: How did that make you feel, considering many people passed by you and your clean-up crew and didn’t say anything?
M: “It was really nice, and it does make your day. You want to be positive and think that the others were saying thank you in a non-verbal way. We don’t do it for the ‘thank yous,’ but they are much appreciated.”
Q: How do you see yourself supporting Keep Rutherford County Beautiful in the future?
G: “We have actually become more involved as each of the clean-up days happened. We did a volunteer job at the correction center on our own, and we’ve just gotten more involved as things happened and needed our help.”
M: “We keep bags in our cars to use to pick up litter along the roadways while we are out. Other people involved with Keep RC Beautiful have also continued to pick up litter even after the clean-up ended.”
Q: In your opinion, what can Rutherford County citizens do to help keep the area clean?
M: “If litter bugs of any kind will be more conscious of what they are throwing out, educate their children, and get involved in clean-ups, they can do their part in keeping the area clean. They can turn away from their old habits.”
G: “We gotta educate the people, and with Roxi going out to the elementary schools, they can teach their parents. Change will start then.”
If you found this story inspiring, join the movement for a cleaner, more beautiful Rutherford County. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and empower our citizens to take action every day to improve and beautify their community. Find us on Facebook @KeepRCNCBeautiful, or email us at KeepRCNCBeautiful@rutherfordcountync.gov.