“One thing that us humans all have in common is trash. We all make waste, it’s not foreign to us no matter where you are in the world.”
Paula arrived in Washington about three years ago, and was struck by the natural beauty and the infinite abundance of the Pacific Northwest. As the creator of Trash Talk Tacoma, Paula organizes monthly clean-ups around Tacoma in a way that empowers her community and gets them talking about one thing: trash.
Beginning her journey in Washington, Paula lacked a sense of community. While doing AmeriCorp in Montana, she learned about stewardship and the power of people, and how important it is to feel that sense of community. As part of the Outward Bound program as a kid, Paula always has had a natural affinity to get out in nature. Combining the two things that she loves, nature and community, Trash Talk Tacoma has become a collective organization of people who are not only passionate about the environment but are seeking like-minded stewardship. Paula finds that picking up trash is a way for people to take responsibility for the space they occupy.
“We all get cluttered, and it can often feel overwhelming. But there is a simplicity of picking up trash. You don’t have to be an environmental scientist to go clear out trash, and see the beauty of our land.” Her movement has created a space for people to create a sense of community, take responsibility for their environment, and have fun while picking up trash.