“The power is yours” – Captain Planet
I was talking with a colleague today about New Year’s resolutions that you can not only keep, but will also help someone else or the world in general, and we hit upon a simple – yet genius (we think) – idea.
Every day, make it your mission to pick up one piece of rubbish discarded in the street or on the beach or park, and put it in the bin or recycling.
Alright, not exactly ground-breaking, but I hadn’t necessarily thought of doing this before. And litter is a blight on communities and the environment in general, poisoning animals, soil and waterways (and our oceans), clogging drains, and it also looks bloody horrible.
As a child who grew up with the Don’t be a Litterbug campaign and episodes of Captain Planet (he’s a hero!) it’s against my nature to litter and I can’t understand those who do. We are cognitive beings and as such we are able to understand the concept of consequence. As we also enjoy eating chips and ice lollies, I don’t really think that it’s that hard to put 2 and 2 together and clear up after ourselves. Pretty easy really.
Anyway – my exasperation with the rest of the human race aside – there are other things you can also do to help the environment of course; from joining a beach clean up or an organised litter pick (check out Sustainable Coastlines here in NZ), to living waste free, or to saying ‘no to the straw’ or plastic wrappers.
But (aside from not littering yourself) picking up one piece of rubbish a day is an achievable and easy thing that anyone can do. Even living in Auckland, which is a pretty clean city, there is still litter to be found on the street, and if I make it my mission to pick up one piece of litter a day for a year, that’s 365 less pieces of litter to be found (I’m excellent at maths).
Actually, make that 730 pieces as my colleague will be doing this too…