De Pere man collecting litter through Barefoot Buckets Challenge

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 4:24 PM CDT
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DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - A De Pere man says he’s on a treasure hunt for trash not gold. And he’s literally picking up litter along the way.

During his lunch break as a software engineer, Luke Titus is walking around De Pere’s Optimist Park picking up trash. According to Titus, “Just out of choice I walked to and from work and I just started noticing just how much litter was on the ground so I started bringing a bag with me and picking it up.”

Back in November, Titus’s quest to clean up grew into the Barefoot Buckets Challenge. With three buckets in his wagon and a picker stick in hand, Titus walks through parks, on trails and sidewalks -- just to pick up the litter.

“There’s no way I’m going to ever pick up everything, but I can at least pick up something, I can at least do something and at least what I pick up just isn’t there to be consumed by some animals, to be used to build their nests with, to get into the water, to get into animals food, to get into our food so in the very least I can get a little bit of what’s out there gone,” says Titus, who walks his litter routes barefoot in solidarity with the animals.

He adds, “It’s a constant reminder that there is always more litter to pick up. There’s always more stuff there. You notice it a lot more, you notice just how much is there.”

Since November, when he really started keeping track of his litter loot, he’s filled 155 buckets with trash. For each bucket filled he plans to donate a dollar to the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance, money he will donate on Earth Day later this month. And while his goal was to hit 300 buckets by Earth Day, his quest for a clean is far from over. “I just like doing it. I like the positive feedback I’m getting from people. People really appreciate what I’m doing, I enjoy doing it. Maybe it’s a weird thing to enjoy doing, but I really do enjoy doing it,” says Titus.

Titus is hoping others take an interest in the environment around them, too, and perform small tasks for themselves, the animals, or others. He’s also encouraging people to donate to his GoFundMe page, with all funds being donated to the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance.

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