Monday, 9 July 2012

Clean and green? Rubbish!

Taking pride in our country needs start in our own communities if it is to serve any practical purpose at all.  Many New Zealanders like to say that our country is Clean and Green but this means nothing if our public areas are littered with unsightly rubbish, the accumulation of carelessly tossed aside odds and ends which should have been disposed of responsibly.  This is the sort of thing that anyone who is capable of bending over can help with.

This heap took me about twenty minutes to collect from around a nearby roadside area where there is a picnic table - and a rubbish bin.  It's a pleasant area, nicely planted with shrubs; the lawn is kept mown and the rubbish bin is emptied regularly, but it seemed that no one had actually picked up rubbish there for quite some time...

I cannot imagine why all this had not been put into the rubbish bin in the first place.  I found the blue bucket in the neighbouring swamp.  It no longer had a handle but I decided it would be useful in my garden.  It was nice to get something for myself for my efforts!

I filled that rubbish bin with as much as it would hold while still leaving space in the top for other users to make their own contributions, left the tennis ball for children or dogs, and took the rest across the road to another rubbish bin.  Then I set out on the second half of my walk carrying the now empty bucket.  All that bending and straightening had warmed me up thoroughly!  

I took a different route back home walking a loop which took me back along the beach.  By the time I got to the reserve at the foot of the hill I had filled the bucket up again.  Fortunately the reserve also has a rubbish bin.  There are plenty of rubbish bins!!! 

There are two possible responses to the nuisance and unsightliness of litter: one is annoyance, which I must say I feel acutely, and the other is pleasure - at having cleared it up, which I also feel.  I see-saw between the two.  

When I was growing up there was concerted publicity in the form of the slogan to
"Be a tidy Kiwi".  
One saw it on rubbish bins and signs everywhere.  Where is it now?  The need for it is certainly as great as ever.  A contemporary version I've come across from time to time is:
"Take only photographs, leave only footprints"
... which is excellent!  I would add:
"Put your rubbish in the bin ... or carry it home if there isn't one!"

Please do so, or be prepared to suffer the wrath of Rushleigh!

Gareth Morgan, New Zealand businessman and philanthropist, examines the implications of this rough and ready attitude in a broader context in his article:

Other articles I've written about community life can be found by clicking on the link below:
Articles about exploring the local beaches and rock pools can be found here:


    Grace Dalley said...

    What a load of rubbish! ;-)
    Good on you for picking it up. :-)

    Leigh Christina Russell said...

    Thank you, Grace!