There is this road that leads from our house to the youth centre. We use this road everyday and I often try to pick up one or two items that end up directly in front of my feet. However, if you are in a hurry to go to work or do not have a bag on you in which you could easily collect the sheer amount of waste that lies around, you feel like your actions are not more than a drop of water on a hot stone. You begin to feel hopeless and helpless.
That is why- armed with two (non-plastic) bags and all my love for our beautiful planet -I decided to tackle the problem and go for a short walk dedicated to picking up every tiny bit of trash I could find. I walked for less than 15 minutes. And this is what I found:
- 8 cigarette packs
- 3 straws and 1 utensil to stir one’s coffee to go
- 5 plastic bottle caps
- 3 toys
- 13 coffee to go/plastic cups
- 4 plastic bottles
- 1 aluminium can
- 12 snack wrappers (someone must really love these bla bla bars?)
- 3 plastic plates
- Other random plastic waste including bags, a shampoo bottle and even meat packaging
A few thoughts instantly popped up in my head: How does a shampoo bottle or meat packing end up in nature when they are probably only used at home? Why are there toys lying around? Of course a child might have lost it, but the cuddly toy,for example, looks like it has been lying around for quite a while. Why does nobody pick it up when one encounters situations like these?The biggest categories, however, seem to be cigarette packs and packages of drinks and snacks that people consume on the go. Cutting down on buying these or at least disposing of them properly would do the environment a huge favour.
Therefore, I encourage all of you to pick up trash whenever you can, even if it is only one bottle a day or you feel like your actions do not have any impact. But if every one of us does little, we can actually change the bigger picture. Together, we can make our planet green again.
Julia is a volunteer on a short term EVS project the “Deep Roots” in Kazanlak, Bulgaria. Learn more about her in the article: “Meet the Ecofest 2019 Organizational Team”.