There are many activities I do, that I don’t write blogs about.
This post is about one of those activities ( that normally I would have blogged with God, not with my small band of fearless readers, I just think it’s rather dull, but… ) ….. consider it a rant, if you like…….
There are days I pick up trash for no real reason other than I love to clean up other people’s mess ( well not really, I would rather be playing computer games ), it is great exercise ( except it can get repetitive ) and the pay rate is awesome ( just joking, it’s all voluntary ).
I do what I do. As it needs to be done ( and that’s all that needs to be said about the “why” ).
I try to pick up litter with a smile on my face, being positive and having faith that humans are not so bad is important when faced with an ever growing wall of garbage. I must consider that we the dominant intelligent species give a damn about our planet!
So while I pick up trash, I make excuses for homo sapiens, I say to myself “the media industry is over dramatizing climate change, deforestation, unregulated fishing, garbage mismanagement and so forth….. maybe it’s just one big conspiracy and humans are being framed.” And other things like that…
Then I see the mattress lying in the grass at the park.
I look at the “thing” for a while. The mattress is so old the fabric has fallen away from the (rusted) springs. The grass is so thick there is no doubt the mattress has been there for years.
I smile amazed and shake my head wondering how it managed to lie here for so long (in clear view of the picnic area, the kids outdoor swings and the car park) .
Then I look up and I can see a newish 4 wheel drive, the park ranger is sitting inside the tax paid vehicle with his co-worker and they are both smirking at me. Ahh-huh. I move on.
The next thing I witness is what I see everywhere on public property. And I mean everywhere. You may have seen it yourself, though looking without understanding what it is that you are seeing.
The inanimate creature is quite harmless and ordinary. Even so this plastic bottle is one species of litter unique to public property.
I call it “Slash-Trash”.
Slash-trash is the product of lazy council rangers mowing the grass without picking up the litter first.
This happens everywhere. Along roadsides, parks and nature strips. The council workers simply jump on their ride-on mowers and slash everything in their path.
The rubbish flies into the fences and gutters. Or like the second photo above, flattens and remains in place, to be mown over again and again eternally.
Plastic doesn’t naturally degrade nor naturally shred. It takes a lot of power to turn plastic bottles into giant confetti pieces. If you want to test my theory go to your nearest park after the council workers have just cut the grass and see what fragments are there, then let me know. Curious.
Slash trash was initially a bitter pill to swallow and nearly caused me to stop picking up trash altogether. It seemed over whelming and impossible to change such a practice. But after my discovery, then shock, then days of lying in a gloomy fetal position, I got up dusted myself off and returned to the war.
So I am used to dealing with picking up tiny pieces of slash-trash and cocky rangers being generally lazy oxygen thieves, so far nothing really worthy of a blog post.
I continued my clean up, then this happened ( and the straw fell on my camel ).
Strike Threeeeee!!! Your Out !!!
Ok, so there is a bin about ten steps (not big steps either) behind where I snapped this photo.
Ten steps to the bin that whoever left this mess could have disposed of their rubbish before they went home.
Having had their happy family day at the park, the Pig-People left everything behind, skipping gaily to their brand new SUV and making it then home in time to watch David Attenborough’s Wildlife in Africa on their giant flat screen 3D television.( Sorry too much sarcasm? )
Initially I thought the picnic-teers must still be using the barbeque ( but for the flocks of birds tearing away at the three-quarter loaf of bread and two uncooked sausages, the plastic plates blowing across the park grounds and the general lack of tidiness ). I gave them the benefit of the doubt, so I went back to picking up Slash-Trash and didn’t come back for another hour. and
To my dismay no one had returned…….and that’s when I blew my top!
“Half eaten rubbish, just lying about the place. For someone else to pick up. Someone elses problem……..”
Like some sort of volcano I exploded in rage. (Without the expletive words) I shouted something like….
“Are you serious? Really? How hard is it? What were you thinking? Are you stupid? What kind of idiot doesn’t put rubbish in a bin ten steps from their barbeque? Do you think I am your slave? Are you SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is wrong with YOU!!!!”
It was too much. And I thought I could handle quite a bit (and I can). For a time I remained rooted to the spot, my teeth grinding and my hands in tight fists. Grrr!
“Excuse me? Have you finished with this barbeque?” an elderly man asked, having walked up behind my oblivious Hulk-transformed self. Unwary of the danger that green skin can have on others.
I turned quickly towards him and so many words sprang to the end of my tongue. I wanted to say so much, Hulk wanted to smash!…….. but then the rage subsided, I knew he wasn’t at fault, he was just looking to use the barbeque.
The real Pig-People had already left the scene, my shoulders slumped feeling quite defeated. I simple said.
“I think the people who have used this picnic area have gone… I will help you clean it up.”
Then together we got on with the task.
Note: For people who do not know; you have to place your trash, litter and garbage in a bin when you are finished with it in a public area in Australia. ( Oh what’s the point, you are probably too stupid to read anyway…)
Loxley Smithett earthknight.org