I also carry along a canvas bag and pick cans and bottles when I'm out walking my dog. It's easy and I'm paying for curbside recycling pick-up anyway.
-- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours -- or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
-- An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
-- Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
-- Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours.
I have trained myself that when I spot an aluminum can on the street, what I really "see" is three hours of TV and when I spot that plastic bottle, what I really "see" is six hours of light. That really helps motivates me to go to the trouble to pick them up.
Please consider adopting this really simple practice that will help save the earth as well as cut down on the unsightly litter that is thrown around by the careless and thoughtless citizens among us!