At age 17, climate activist Edgar McGregor, now 20, received recognition for his amateur climatology projects, but he calls himself a trash–pickup guy. Still, McGregor will be attending San Jose State in fall, to take up meteorology and climate science.
Since May 2019, and while still in high school, young McGregor began visiting Eaton Canyon, with a mission to pick up discarded wrappers, empty bottles and cigarette butts, including those already stuck in the dirt. He still does so without fail, even if it means squeezing a few minutes after getting off from long shifts at his warehouse job.
The recent Earth Day celebration marked his consecutive 637th day of picking up trash at Eaton Canyon, even after declaring the area “completely free of municipal wastes” last March 05, the 589th day of his trash-picking mission. The young climate activist says he still goes back, just to make sure no new trash has appeared. Currently, he’s into cleaning other local parks, and with the same conviction and dedication.
Although the 20-year-old climate activist started joining school rallies for the climate crisis in front of Pasadena city hall, he wanted real change to happen. While he started picking up trash Eaton Canyon every week, he found more trash accumulating much faster each week. That’s when McGregor decided to go every day.
He says he’s always been a collector of anything, from old coins, to wooden model boats and even shards of sea glass. Becoming a trash-pick up guy makes sense for him because he sees it as just another form of collecting.