Peyton Alexander, a 7-year-old from Groton, has a job that she takes very seriously. The soon-to-be second grader is known as the “bus stop garbage girl,” in charge of keeping her bus stop free of litter.
“This is a really big job that I want to do,” said Peyton. “Me and my mom are never going to quit.”
Peyton’s mom said that her daughter’s passion for picking up trash was first ignited in preschool.
“They had discussed the planet and the importance of putting garbage where it belongs and not on the ground because it ends up in the ocean and other places it’s not supposed to be,” said Krystal Alexander, Peyton’s mom.
One day at her bus stop, after that lesson, Petyon noticed litter. She told her mom that the trash was making the earth sad.
“I was really disappointed that there was garbage on the ground,” said Peyton, who now attends Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London.
Peyton told her mom that they should start picking up the trash. They ordered trash picker tools and got to work.
"She just had this awareness about the world around her and it was so refreshing. Absolutely we wanted to accommodate that. We will pick up some trash- why not?” said Alexander.
Starting at the bus stop, the mother and daughter have now expanded their reach. They have participated in several community weekend cleanups and keep the trash tools in the trunk for whenever they see litter.
“Even with just where the bus stop is, from the bus stop to the corner, there was a point where we had picked up 11 pounds of trash. We weighed the bag afterwards. She sees what kind of progress that makes. Even if it is just that small part of town,” said Alexander.
A family friend made Peyton a shirt that says “bus stop garbage girl” on the back, giving her the title that she wears proudly.
Peyton said that picking up trash is responsible, and she loves doing it. She and her family are hoping that her passion for the environment can inspire others.
“Hopefully, they will let her inspiration push them to do the same thing,” said Patrick Alexander, Peyton’s dad.
“And I can only hope that they have even a small amount of the enthusiasm that she has with it,” added Peyton’s mom.
With a goal of making the earth “happy,” Peyton wants everyone to remember: “Don’t make the earth disappointed because of what you do.”