I can’t go anywhere without seeing rubbish.
It’s in the school grounds, in car parks, around my street, at the beach, shops, parks, highways… EVERYWHERE!
What started with a bit of volunteering with my local Beach Patrol group has now turned into an (almost) obsession.
I’ve become known as the ‘rubbish friend’. And I’m proud of it!
I’m the mum bending down at the school crossing to pick up a randomly discarded soy sauce fish.
I’m the local resident walking the neighbourhood with a pair of grabbers and a bag collecting the styrofoam left behind after hard rubbish collection.
I’m the friend who is always yabbering on about litter. Sorry, friends. (Not sorry)
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t stop seeing it.
So what can we do about this problem?
Is there any point in picking up rubbish?
I’ve asked myself this many times. And I think there is a point. I’ve got 3 solutions to this problem:
Firstly, removing litter from the environment can help to prevent illness and death. Many creatures unintentionally consume litter items such as plastic bags and microplastics. Birds and whales have been found with plastic in their stomachs. Fish that have swallowed microplastics are ending up on our plates. Maybe you’ve even read about plastic being found in human poo!
Secondly, litter picking creates awareness. Many people have stopped to have a conversation about my bag of rubbish. I’ve received the odd “hey, love what you’re doing!” from beach joggers. I’ve talked friends and family into coming along with me to pick up rubbish. I’ve even got six year olds into it (nature thanks you, Thomas!).
Sometimes a little effort can have a great influence.
Finally, there is the option to tackle the manufactures, companies, businesses who are creating this stuff in the first place. Send a letter. Write an email. Tag businesses in your Instagram posts and hold them accountable for their waste. We need more sustainable options from the top to tackle the war on waste.
So will you join me? Do you want to be a rubbish friend too? Maybe you’ll join a beach patrol in your area or just pick up a few bits of rubbish next time you’re out.
Oh and here’s a few of my favourite websites to check out:
https://holevida.com/blog/ (my rubbish friend!)
https://bluethefilm.org/ ‘Blue’ documentary