If you want to know more about Mac Heggstrom, take a glance at his shoes. A simple pair of classic Nike’s reveal hundreds of miles spent walking up and down roads weaving throughout Coeur d’Alene. The worn soles tell a story of a man on a mission to make his community cleaner, and his own life healthier.
“I’d almost call it a crusade on trash. I’ve got to do it. It really bothers me,” said Mac Heggstrom.
Mac first started picking up trash along the road two years ago. Up until then, he’d been taking care of his mom and gained 75 pounds along the way. After his mom died, he wanted to exercise and was frustrated with the amount of trash along the roads. So, he started walking.
“It just sickened me. That there would be so much trash. At first, I didn’t make it very far, just around the block,” said Mac.
One block quickly turned into one mile, and then a thousand miles. Mac walks on average 15 miles a day, six days a week. He uses his bike and a cart to roll a 40-gallon trash can wherever he goes. In nearly two years, Mac’s walked more than 8,000 miles and picked up more than 10 tons of garbage.
“It’s incredible, the stuff I find. I’ve found tires, rims, cigarette boxes, a $20 bill once, five cell phones- was able to return one to the owner, a crushed iPad,” said Mac.
Mac also discovered a healthier way of life. In two years, Mac dumped 100 pounds.
“I just kept at it, kept at it, changed diet, and the weight just fell off,” said Mac.
People will often stop Mac along the road and give him a donation for his efforts. Every little bit helps, especially when he needs to buy new shoes every three months. With so much uncertainty in the world right now, Mac believes we can all do our part to make our world a better place.
“I figure now, more than ever, you can make a difference where you can. A lot of people are hurting. If you can make a difference in the community or with an individual, if you can help, why not?” said Mac.