Friday, January 15, 2016

A New Life: Tackling Litter

Today my dear blog friend, Traude, has begun a new venture entitled:
She shares the same passion I do about making simple changes in our lives that will have a positive impact on our surroundings and thus our environment and hopefully the world at large.
In her words, "A New Life" is about "mindfulness, sustainability and quality of life."
She asked that we share ways in which we are working to make a difference and as most of you know, I'm involved with a community garden called "The Secret Garden" that was started by a young Kuwaiti chef who is also passionate about the environment and creating a sense of community.

 In November, I organized a yarnbombing event at the garden which was a huge success.  On Saturdays we do gardening, crafts, and storytime; and during the week, we sometimes have school children come for field trips to learn about planting and composting.
Sadly, one of the biggest problems faced in this country is garbage.
I post pretty pictures from my walks, but the truth is that everywhere I go, there is garbage piled up, trash littering the streets and strewn just about everywhere.  And that's even with a large number of street cleaners who are out there every day from early morning doing their best to clean but losing the battle because of the lack of litter laws.

The Secret Garden is actually a public space and the government recently contracted a new company to maintain it, purportedly because the previous company was not doing a sufficient job.  I saw the new cleaning team there one morning this past week and assumed that the next day I would find a nice, neat, tidy garden space.
Unfortunately, that was not the case.  I was appalled by the condition of the garden the next morning and spent the next hour and a half cleaning and organizing.
Most people wouldn't even bother themselves trying to tackle this problem.  It's a never ending dirty job but the lack of respect for the environment is one of my biggest pet peeves and is something that I get on my soapbox quite often about.  Because it is the right thing to do, I do it.  I can't fix the problem, but I can certainly be part of the solution and hopefully inspire others to also want to  contribute positively to their community.
Let us be good stewards of the Earth we inherited. All of us have to share the Earth's fragile ecosystems and precious resources, and each of us has a role to play in preserving them. If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it.
Kofi Annan

Please visit Traude at her blog Rostrose to read how others are creating change through lifestyle choices, by giving back or by tackling a problem and making a difference.

Have a fabulous Friday!

34 comments:

Linda said...

In no way can I understand people who litter! There is just NO excuse. I wasn't brought up that way, I would never even throw gum on the ground anywhere - I always wrap things up and bring them with me until I can find a trash can and that's the way I taught my daughter.

I'm not really involved in anything community wide and just don't have the passion for that, but I do try to make a difference in other ways, in the lives of my family and friends. The best change I've made thus far this year is ending my addiction to FB, Instagram and the need to document what I'm doing. With each day that passes, I just feel so refreshed - so many other past times have come back into play and it's wonderful.

Enjoy your weekend. :) Mine begins in just 5 minutes.
Linda

Betsy said...

I just can't understand the littering. Doesn't everyone prefer to see a beautifully clean space? And how hard is it to take your litter to a garbage can? I'm so thankful for people like you who are willing to clean up after the people who just plain don't care. I guess the way that I try to help is with my knitting and crocheting. Making things for the smallest among us for the most part, although sometimes adults get things too. LOL Have a lovely weekend my sweet friend. And don't get discouraged, your contributions toward beautifying your space is noticed by many.
Blessings, Betsy

Amy at love made my home said...

It is such a shame that people leave rubbish like this. Perhaps you could start a Keep Kuwait Tidy campaign, there is a Keep Britain Tidy campaign that fights against litter. Keep going, you are making a difference! xx

Happy@Home said...

I applaud you for your efforts in cleaning up the litter, Tammy. It is so hard for me to understand how people can be so careless about their trash. I guess it was deeply ingrained in me as a child that littering was just wrong. I feel sure that there are at least a few people who are being inspired by your good example.
Great post today and one that has me thinking what I can do this year to be a positive asset to my own community.

Debby said...

I can remember when I was young when people threw their trash from the car. Now that would make me angry.
I'm glad you are trying to keep your garden clean. I don't imagine you are allowed to put up a kindly small sign.

Lisa said...

Kudos to you for tackling a nasty problem to better your environment. I believe that things like this do make a difference. If you influence one person to change that's one person more than before. I work part time in a school library. I am on a mission to recycle as much of the waste that we produce there as I can. There is plastic wrap, cardboard, papers, old books, and the list goes on. In the past most of it went into the trash. At least the amount I send to recycling isn't going in the garbage. I'm trying.

Diane said...

I never could understand not piking up after yourself. I like things neat. The world is changing and we all need to work together to keep our garbage and trash from ruining it. Some people just don't get that. Diane

Lorrie said...

I agree wholeheartedly. We need to take care of our environment. I wonder at people who scatter trash on the ground. Surely their homes wouldn't get the same treatment.

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Tammy,
Oh, it makes one furious to see such abuse of our environment!
Here it is just a little and I have to say that while living in Indonesia it looked rather clean at the time we were there. Don't know about present day situations.
Both of us were shocked when we got into the taxi at La Guardia Airport NYC and drove to Manhattan. Right away we saw garbage on both sides of the street that made us think we'd landed in another country! Also alongside Fifth Ave in the Center we found lots of litter on the street. WHY are people behaving like that?
No class, no responsibility towards the environment in which their children and children's children have to live...
Hugs,
Mariette

Kim Andersen said...

That is something I just dont understand. You are good to try to make a difference though. Every little bit helps and will be noticed and appreciated by someone somewhere - most likely a child.

Little Treasures said...

I get absolutely furious when I see somebody throwing garbage out of cars on highways. On the streets in the city it is different because the country has high fees on littering so that does it. If you can't make them understand, make them pay. I too applaud you for cleaning the litter. The place looks lovely after the cleanup.

Linda P said...

It's rewarding being involved in a community project in the city that benefits everyone especially teaching the next generation to respect the environment. The Secret Garden looks like a good one and it's interesting that a young chef started it. I imagine it's hard work. Dropping litter in the street, dumping it or throwing it out of a car window seems to be on the increase. It not only makes an otherwise attractive place look scruffy, but causes all sorts of health and environmental problems.

Rostrose said...

Dearest Tammy,
you said it perfectly: "I can't fix the problem, but I can certainly be part of the solution and hopefully inspire others to also want to contribute positively to their community." I love your Secret Garden and the work that you are doing there. Certainly, the children you teach in composting and to protect the garden will keep some important of it in their minds.

In our country garbage is also a problem. Maybe it's not as big as in Kuwait or in India (etc.), but it's big enough. Last week I took a walk with the camera in our nature, and I photographed just "Prosperity garbage". I made a total of 47 photos: 47 thrown away aluminum cans, plastic bottles, take-away coffee mugs etc. With the 47 photos I made two collages and sent them to our mayor. I asked him to pass these images to the Austrian federal government, there to obtain a law that achieved in neighboring Germany positive effects since 15 years: Deposit for non-returnable bottles and cans! Thus, the people bring their bottles and cans back to the shops and get money. The garbage has been drastically reduced in Germany! The mayor has responded positively to my mail - I hope he really passes it to the Government!

Lots of hugs my dear and many thanks for your wonderful post. You described "A New Life" perfectly to your readers!
XOX Traude
http://rostrose.blogspot.co.at/2016/01/a-new-life-1-ich-habe-genug.html

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

I don't understand people who litter.
It happens here too but I haven't seen piles of stuff left by the roadside like that.
I get annoyed when people throw fast food containers out of the car window and I wonder "who brought you up"?
Lee Kuan Yew cleaned up Singapore and it is a beautiful city to visit.
There were severe penalties for littering, spitting on the street etc and it worked.
Shane

Kit said...

Oh it is so wonderful you do your part to keep your garden clean. I will never understand the thought process of someone who just dumps their garbage out of their car window or leaves such a mess outside their homes. I sometimes think with children, it is what they learn from their parents. At my school, before I came, the students would leave their messes and expect someone else to clean it up. I would have none of that and they know I expect more of them and I very rarely have to throw anything out. My little part to re-teach. :) Kit

Terra said...

Bless your heart for your cleaning your secret garden so all can enjoy it. What is wrong with those workers? In front of our home I pick up a couple of cigarette butts and pieces of plastic each week. This litter is distressing because if I don't pick it up it will wash into the storm drains and go directly to the Pacific Ocean. And we all know about the damage this does to sea fish and mammals who eat it.

podso said...

I hope others will be inspired by your example. Actions are louder than words, aren't they.

Julia - Vintage with Laces said...

It's sad that so many people are ignorant and disrespectful. I'm sure it would help if they would teach in schools 1-2 hours per month about environmental issues. It's wonderful that you take the time to make a difference with teaching about nature in the secret garden and giving a good example by picking up litter. The boys and girls who join you on Saturdays will hopefully share what they have learned and inspire others.

Draffin Bears said...

Dear Tammy

The Secret Garden looks like a wonderful place and you must be happy to be part of this. We all need to do our part cleaning up everywhere around us.
Really can't understand people who litter and who just don' t care about the environment.
We see rubbish washed up on the beaches from boaties and we often go with a bag and clean up as we go for a walk.
Happy new week
Hugs
Carolyn

Blogoratti said...

That's a wonderful cause that you are on, and do hope others will see what you are doing and learn from it all. Warm greetings and best wishes!

Liz D said...

What a lovely idea for an urban garden. It s so sad that the litter is so culturally acceptable there. I so rarely see litter, not because of the laws against but because folks take pride in our space. You set a fine example.

Peggy Jones said...

What a wonderful cause you support Tammy. I am involved with re-cycling in our community by putting newspapers, plastics and aluminum into barrels that are picked up twice monthly. We are looking for a means of recycling our glass as of now we do not have that. I reuse my printer paper whenever I can and a few other trash directed ideas. My faith group is studying Pope Francis encyclical and learning that we must feel that we share this earth with everyone and must work in any small way to respect and honor that. Thanks for your contributions.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Your Secret Garden is lovely. How fun to initiate and be part of a community project!! YOU do make a difference in helping people to take pride in their living spaces!!
It's sad that people don't pick up after themselves and put their trash into a trashcan.

Mereknits said...

You are so right to clean up as much as you can. I do that when I take walks, always picking up the beer bottles that the young people toss out of their car after a weekend night of fun. It irritates me so much to see litter and so I do my best to clean up when I can. Good luck.
Meredith

Hindustanka said...

Ahh... it's the same issue here in India. People simply don't understand that littering around is not good... they think someone would come and pick that empty snack packet.
I really would like to organize such cause or create a community to educate others on this issue.
All the best Tammy! You do very well!

Createology said...

Bless you Tammy Dear! Why people litter is beyond me. My mother was a stickler and taught each of us to never litter...ever! I cannot tell you how sick it makes me to see all that garbage in your surroundings. Thank you for being part of the solution and for being a good Earth steward. When you keep something clean and neat I believe others will eventually respect and do the same. You are a wonderful inspiration! Blessings...

Serena Lewis said...

Littering is one of my biggest pet peeves too, Tammy! It saddens and makes me feel outraged at the same time. I wonder how people can be so disrespectful of their environment. It's so easy to carry put your rubbish in a bin or even take it home with you, depending on the circumstances, but there is always a responsible option. Another negative with rubbish is that it can be very dangerous for wildlife and marine animals. Yes, I will definitely follow Traude's blog. I'm glad she has the Translator option in her sidebar...makes it a lot easier.

I am hoping to lead a more simple, harmonious life this year.

Well done to you and your friend. xx

Mary said...

We were floored when we saw the trash piled up in India especially. There were beautiful million dollar homes with yards full of litter. When we asked why, we were told bluntly, people are lazy! I guess there are an awful lot of lazy people in every country because litter is worldwide sadly.
Chin up dear Tammy, know you and your friends are doing lovely things to beautify spaces in your city, and there will be other who appreciate your efforts.

Hugs - Mary

Tanya said...

Bravo, my friend. Hopefully more will get the hint - I wish you well in your quest with the trash. XOXOXO

Gracie Saylor said...

Yes, Tammy! Even though I make effort to pick up after myself and others, recycle, and be less wasteful, I know I can do better, and am cheering you on with your good efforts! xx

ela said...

Hallo Tammy, i saw your Link at Traude's ANL Project and it is so sad, that people everywhere do not care about their litter. Often pick up some pieces being sad standing at a perfect place ruined with trash.
Greetings Ela

Yarni Gras! said...

God Bless you for trying to keep that space beautiful

Pearlin J said...

Good on you trying to make a difference Tammy. I'm sure it will pay fruit

Melanie said...

You know how much this garbage and littering bothers me, too...I've spoken to you about it. Seeing those pictures makes my stomach lurch. It just boggles my mind that people can be so callous and ignorant about the environment. I give you so much credit for what you are doing in your neighborhood with the garden and helping with keeping it clean and litter-free. You never know...maybe you're quietly setting an example for others; they could be watching you and decide they're not going to throw their trash on the ground anymore. And with teaching the kids about the garden and their environment, those kids will probably tell their parents what they've learned, too. Good deeds, my friend! :-)

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