Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Growing Problem

I was so disappointed and discouraged last Wednesday when I arrived at The Secret Garden for my garden duties.
It took me about 2 hours to pick up 95% of the garbage and I only spent about 30 minutes on what would be considered actual gardening.  After 2-1/2 hours in the heat, I had to call it quits.

The problem is everywhere ... and getting worse.
People throw big piles of junk expecting others to carry it away.
On my walks, it is easy to find a plastic bag blowing in the wind, so I grab it and start filling it with garbage as I walk along.  Most people look at me like I'm crazy.  Some take the time to thank me.  Perhaps my action will inspire someone else ... maybe not right then, but later they may remember and just maybe they will do something positive.
A bomb bag ... who knew there was such a thing.  Made in Taiwan and shipped to Kuwait so that kids  can make a pretend bomb sound and then litter the land.
 I found a bunch of them along the walking path this morning.
 Claiming corporate social responsibility seems to be the thing to do these days so Kuwait National Petroleum Company has put a few trashcans along the walkway purporting to care about the environment.  But do they really? 
Plastic is a huge problem.  It doesn't biodegrade.  It is littering our lands, cities and waterways.  In fact, the largest landfill isn't even on land, it's in the Pacific Ocean.
This is the view from my bedroom balcony right now.  Why?  Because the guy who lives downstairs cut down all the trees that used to block my view.  Because people think an empty lot is a landfill.  And because the government doesn't do anything to stop the dumping.
My husband and I often have heated arguments because he thinks that I shouldn't get so upset about the problem.  He figures if no one else cares, why should I?  But that's the problem.  We have too many politicians and people who don't care.  And if everyone stops caring, then how do we solve the problem?

Wisdom understands that in a world of ecological interconnectedness there is no such things as “away.” We don’t throw things “away,” we simply put them someplace where they defile the land, foul the water, pollute the air or change the earth’s atmosphere. 
(Brian Walsh & Sylvia Keesmaat)

Be the change,


Ellen D. said...

Don't give up! What a difference you are making and what an example you are setting for others! You are right to do this and should feel so proud of yourself!!
Great work! Thank you so much!

Sam I Am...... said...

I'm right there with you, Sister! I'm surprised at Sam as it is his homeland isn't it or is that Jordan? Someone once said that men don't notice a dust ball unless it's the size of a tumbleweed so that could be part of it! LOL! Although, some of those litter piles were way bigger than a tumbleweed! I think it eats at people's souls when nature is defiled like that. They may not realize it at the time but you notice there are no gangs or homeless in the wilderness although there is still some litter. We had laws up North and it worked. Evidently when you hit people in their pocket books they finally pay attention...sad but true. I don't think there are any laws against littering down here as I see a lot of litter on the roads. I wanted to ask if people...don't they take pride in their town or city but then I looked around at my house and I was humbled! LOL! I love the quote at the bottom of your post. You go girl!

Terra said...

Thank you for caring and do not give up. You are a beautiful example as you gather trash in your Secret Garden and along city streets. On my walks I pick up plastic and cigarette butts before they reach the ocean. Once a week our city sends trucks to every home and picks up plastic, glass, metal, paper and garbage from bins we all have, and all but the garbage is recycled. Does your city do that?

Caterina Giglio said...

I remember when I was a kid and a law was passed about littering, what a great citizen you are. Sending hugs to your huge heart! xxxx

Gracie Saylor said...

Thanks so much for caring, Tammy. I appreciate your good example, and I too have used trash bags I found while out and about to hold other trash I collected on my way. My recycling efforts and consumer habits have room for improvement, but I care too, and am grateful for those who trained me to care on our farm and through Girl Scouts where I was taught to leave every place I am better or at least in as good condition as I found it. We are making a positive difference in the world around us and need to continue to encourage each other and those around us to do so! xxxxx

Tanna said...

It is discouraging. I don't understand the apathy. I'm cheering you on, Tammy. Be the change. Yes. blessings and hugs ~ tanna
ps thank you so much for your good thoughts and well wishes for my husband.

Lisa said...

I wish I had an answer to this problem. I don't understand the thought process of "well, no one else does so why should I." Thank you for caring, don't stop!

Susan said...

Oh Tammy, that's terrible there is so much littering. Why can't people be more considerate? You do such a great job with the little garden. You shouldn't have to pick up the trash of other people. Keep up the good work. Susan

Blondie's Journal said...

As saddened as you are, and exhausted, I'm hoping that others will follow suit when they see you trying to make a difference. Trash bins and laws with heavy fines don't sound like they are a part of the agenda in Kuwait. I'm very concerned when you see this trash out your window, it must make you feel incredible sickened. Not sure how your husband could not feel the same.

Keep up the good fight. Maybe there are some like minded people who could join you in picking up a bit and create a more visual impact.

Jane x

Betsy said...

Oh Tammy, that is just disgusting and so discouraging for you. What a bright light you are, cleaning up the garden and everywhere you go. I don't understand the mentality to just dump wherever you feel like it. Do they just expect someone else to clean up the mess? God bless you for caring so much. You CAN make a difference. You already are. Somewhere, someone has seen you picking up trash and you've made them think about what they do.

Jennifer Hays said...

Gosh, that is really terrible. You are so wonderful to take the time to clean up the trash. I try to do that whenever we walk in the neighborhood. I think people do litter here, but some of the problem is the wind; it often knocks over trash cans and carries the contents everywhere. I have trash blowing through my yard all the time. I hope other people in your community will follow your lead and learn to pick up their own trash so there isn't so much for everyone else to deal with.

Teresa Kasner said...

Gadzooks.. I can't imagine living in that kind of mindset. We in Oregon are well-known as "green" tree huggers who care about the environment. There are big fines for littering and recycling is done in almost every household. People and groups adopt a section of the roadways and clean all the little in their section. We just raised the bottle refunds to 10 cent each when they are returned. I do hope that people see you doing the right thing and think twice about littering. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Angie said...

Tammy - my heart hurt when I saw your pictures of all the trash. I completely get how discouraging that is. Please keep up your effort with this - it is important and I believe others will be inspired by your example.

September Violets said...

Don't get disheartened. The problem is huge everywhere, but even you picking up a share of it hopefully resonates with others. Don't forget you were my own inspiration to pick up trash while walking. Maybe it will also help people to think twice about throwing their garbage on the ground in the first place. My daycare kids tell me how they pick up garbage on walks with their own families now too (I had them picking up garbage on our hikes in the woods). Our town's scout groups pick up garbage in designated areas, and our schools participate in a day of cleaning up the school grounds too. I even saw that someone had picked up bags and bags of garbage along one stretch of road near me. When I commented on it to my daughter she said it was just "some woman" picking it up, not a city worker, just a concerned citizen (my daughter walks along that roadway to work). Every little bit we demonstrate in this way makes a difference to those who care. Hugs to you for caring and keep on going!!

Wanda said...

My hat is off to you. Don't give up, you are a hero, and maybe someone will notice and follow your wonderful example. It's everywhere, but I haven't see anything quite that bad around where we live.

Kit said...

I totally see why you are upset. Maybe it is because you were raised in the States. We have such strict laws here about dumping, so no one does. Keep causing a fuss! I am glad you are trying to make a difference. Get your hubby out there with you! :) Kit

Quinn said...

I don't believe it is ever a wasted effort to try to improve a situation, even when the chance of "making a difference" seems small...I think our actions make differences we never see. I couldn't have worked in natural resources and environmental education as long as I did, if I didn't believe that every motion - however tiny - in a positive direction is valuable. Thank you for what you do day after day in your little corner of the planet, Tammy. You may never know how far-reaching your efforts and example may be, but at least know that right now, I am cheering you on from my little corner :)

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