Billy Adams has found a lockdown ritual that not only benefits his health, but also the mental health and beauty that surrounds others in his beloved Washington, DC.
Since June, the software executive has been selecting a different 12-mile route every day, picking up just about any piece of trash in it – rain, snow, or sleet.
He even gets an empty Starbucks bag halfway up near Canal Road in Georgetown to continue his cleanup, dumping bags full of garbage in public trash cans.
He leaves his Maryland home just over the DC line at 8:30 am and uses his hands to pick up the trash for three hours.
Adams told the Washington Post that the habit has been immensely satisfying. “When you see it beforehand, then you walk past it and it’s all clean, it’s a good feeling.”
Employees at the M Street Starbucks call the 54-year-old “garbage boy” and often have a bag ready for him when he stops for coffee, always leaving a generous tip.
Store Manager Ahmed Oukchir told the Post that thanks to Billy he has also been inspired to be more trash-conscious.
Billy’s sister, Caroline Miller, has gone out for a walk with her husband and says it has had a “contagious impact” on her too.
“Billy is someone who likes to do the right thing,” he told the Post. “If you see trash on the ground, you can’t just walk past it.”
Caroline, who was named a GNN Good News Ambassador In 2012, he grew up with his brother in Bethesda, Maryland, adjacent to DC, and has deep roots here.
“It is especially important to our family because our great-great-grandfather was Jacob Karr, owner of the most popular watch store, a short distance from the White House,” he told GNN. “Abraham Lincoln and all the presidents of the United States, from then until he retired in the early 1900s, were friendly with him and he took care of his watches.”
“Since DC is in his blood, I think it’s even more important to my brother that he lends a hand to beautify the city.”
Though it’s a one-man mission, Billy is thinking of hosting a weekend cleanup for Earth Day in April, so he can try to get others hooked on doing good and feeling good at the same time.
CLEAN UP your social media feed by sharing the inspiration before Earth Day …