If everyone in the world did this…

As I am walking round my neighbourhood, I am always dismayed to see so much litter everywhere. Fast food wrappers, household refuse, the odd shoe, socks or even underpants (yes, seen this very morning in a lane way); whole bags of garbage, dumped by the side of the road, remaining there sometimes for weeks.

This is the sort of thing I see in the streets everywhere. You might not want to pick this up...

This is the sort of thing I see in the streets everywhere. You might not want to pick this up…

...But you might be able to bring yourself to pick this up. It's a crumpled bit of paper, in among the leaves and grass.

…But you might be able to bring yourself to pick this up. It’s a crumpled bit of paper, in among the leaves and grass.

The other morning, a shopping trolley full of rubbish had been abandoned near our local train station. It was still there, days later.

In public bathrooms, people scatter paper on the floor, instead of placing it in bins provided.

On the trains, passengers leave drink bottles, remnants of their lunch, or worse.

One day, at the university where I work, I saw a group of students sitting in a circle, where they had been eating lunch. They got up and walked away, leaving all their rubbish on the ground behind them.

At the central train station, Flinders St, in the Melbourne CBD one day, I saw a child aged about four throw away the wrapper to his snack, which his mother clearly saw but did nothing about.

Litter is polluting our waterways and killing marine life, making our streets dirty and hazardous, and hampering efforts to recycle as much as possible.

In the 1970s and 1980s there were campaigns against littering. “Don’t be a litter bug”, I seem to remember one going. We should revive these campaigns, because people have obviously forgotten.

I never litter. However, when I see litter on the street, do I pick it up? Sometimes, but usually not. It’s time for me to change.

And while I’m doing that, I’d like to start a trend. Wouldn’t it be good if every one of us, no matter where we lived, picked up one piece of litter from the street each day and put it in a bin? Think how much less trash there would be in the world then. It’s something that we can do with a minimum of effort and time, it doesn’t cost us any money, and collectively, we’d be doing the world a favour.

This is one of the rules I would make for the world if I could. This is my humble dream to promote peace. In a clean world, you can see and think more clearly, so a cleaner world is a more peaceful world.  I really believe that, which is why I have written this post for Kozo’s October B4Peace challenge at Everyday Gurus, which you can read about here. Another post I really liked this month, for its simplicity and honesty, was Claudia’s, in which she implores people just to be kind to one another. You can read her post here.

So wake up and smell the roses, like this one poking through a fence on my street...

So wake up and smell the roses, like this one poking through a fence on my street…

...and this one, a bit too high to smell, but adding its beauty to the street where I live.

…and this one, a bit too high to smell, but adding its beauty to the street where I live.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “If everyone in the world did this…

  1. A powerful post indeed! I often ask this question: What kind of Earth do we want to leave for our children? The response, without fail, always comes quickly: A clean Earth. Then the next question I ask, What kind of children do we want to leave for our Earth? The response, usually comes after some thinking…responsible children, kind and caring children.

    I strongly believe that us adults owe it to the children (who will one day become adults) to teach them how to be responsible to Mother Earth, our home. Charity begins at home.

    Thank you for raising awareness about littering through your blog.

    • Well put—I wholeheartedly agree with you about teaching children at home.The next place is school. When I went to elementary school in the US in the 1970s, we had a class called “civics”, which covered everything from why voting was important to why you shouldn’t litter. When I returned to NZ, there was nothing like that. I wonder if any schools in the US or anywhere else still have “civics”.

  2. Couldn’t agree more!! We live on a steep hill on a main road and I guess the need to slow down offers an opportunity to dump rubbish out the window. Every once in a while, I drag a rubbish bag along both sides of the road picking it all up. What really disappoints me is that there is no incentive to do anything else with it other than dump it out the window. Up until sometime in the 70s, there was a cash incentive for recycling bottles and that was a prime source of income for us as children. Now, not only is there no cash incentive, the recycle bins at our local transfer station are only accessible when the station itself is open so people just dump it anywhere…

    We do really need to grow up though, regardless of incentives or not and start acting like responsible adults and picking up after ourselves…

    • Yes, well said. I also hate the way people dump bags of cast-off stuff outside our charity op shop when it’s closed. Most of this stuff is unusable. For example, on the door it clearly says they cannot accept electrical goods, so people dump their old broken toasters and TVs there. The volunteers who work at this shop tell me a lot of their budget is spent on disposing of this rubbish.

  3. Pingback: More Than A Dream: Living For Peace | GLORIOUS METTLE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s