In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that certain social graces have fallen along the wayside.
In certain areas of the city, including some roads leading up toward Decatur High School, more trash than normal can be seen lining the streets.
But “Cody the Trash Destroyer” is making sure you don’t see it for long, and that’s why he was selected as the Mirror’s Hometown Hero for March.
Cody Lyon, a fourth grader at Twin Lakes Elementary, had enough one day while he was walking with his mother, Lisa Lumpkin, to Decatur to pick up one of the free meals Federal Way Public Schools is giving out during the crisis.
“It’s just a virus, it’s not a reason to destroy the earth,” Cody declared to his mother, and they decided to spend some of their extra time gathering the trash they could see along their walking route.
Cody wants more people to think about their actions before they litter.
For instance, he said, what if instead of you throwing garbage on the earth, the earth threw garbage on you?
“Then you’d be dirty,” Cody said. “The earth doesn’t want to be dirty, it wants to be clean.”
And that is what Cody aims to do.
Lumpkin said she and Cody are still continuing their trash pick-up during their daily walks, and they have a plan to go a little farther each day.
“Until we cover the whole earth!” Cody said.
He has always noticed any garbage he sees on the ground, Lumpkin said, and when he grows up he wants to be a garbage collector so he can keep cleaning up all the garbage he sees.
“I can see all the trash,” he said. “You might be getting rid of your trash, but you’re not getting rid of it the right way.”
The following day, Lumpkin said they picked up even more trash around the school’s parking lot.
Cody aims to keep doing this with his mom every day, or until he’s told he can’t leave his house during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lumpkin posted a picture of a happy looking Cody holding a garbage bag on Facebook and explained what Cody was doing, much to the applause and support of the community.
“Thank your son for being such a great person!” Kip Gardner said.
Paula Smith also thanked Cody and his mom for what they were doing, but encouraged them to find gloves and other protective equipment to stay as safe as possible.
In these confusing and difficult times, it’s community members like Cody who help everyone continue to look on the brighter side of things.