Updated 15 July 2022 – Original post 18 December 2019

Etang de Thau, Marseillan, France

Behind all the glossy, curated, fancy images we see on social media, there is often a deeper story. For every beautiful vista, the reality is that there are bag-loads of loose garbage scattered around just out of shot.

Anywhere and everywhere in the world, in even the cleanest of places, if nothing else, I bet that there is at least one sweet wrapper or at least one cigarette butt to be found on the ground, somewhere around.

The run-off from just ONE CIGARETTE BUTT can POLLUTE up to 500 LITRES of OUR CLEAN WATER, this. is. insane! So if you see it, why not pick it up?

If you are privileged enough to be aware of our pollution problems, then you should also be aware of how you actively contribute to these problems too, whether you smoke or not.

You live here, and in just being alive in society you pollute, whether you like it or not, so there is really next-to-no excuse for not modifying your behaviour in some way or picking at least #1pieceofrubbish up every time you go out of your home, or both.

Every step taken in this world is a chance to remove at least some of the rubbish in front of our eyes and make it a nicer place. Whether it is on the way to work or while we are waiting outside, we can all find one little piece of rubbish to bend down, pick up, and put in a bin. Even if there are 100 other pieces, just be glad that you could take one and that you did more than nothing. Maybe the next day you’ll take two, and three the next, or none, whatever, you do you.

Obviously, or not so as the case may be, the best is to reduce altogether the quantity of rubbish that we are producing on a personal level. It is all well and good picking up trash, but if your bin is already full of waste, brimming with toxic crap to be burned or buried in landfill by the authorities then maybe your focus would be best directed at your own consumption habits first.

After years of participating personally in spontaneous trash collection in public and reducing my own consumption and waste production, I’ve gotten to the point where it seems obvious to me now. I have a tendency to forget that there are so many who are not even yet embarking on a journey of considering their personal consumption nor how it is problematic for both themselves and our planet. In a world that needs to maintain natural balance for our survival that is currently being buried under the waste we produce, this. is. insane.

The whole discussion around why this is even happening is so multifaceted it would be a post way much longer than I’m prepared to write now. In the meantime, if you do fancy learning more, then naturally I recommend you read the book I wrote with Edmund Platt – The Englishman Who Wanted to Clean France – currently available in eBook format and coming soon in paperback in English. French speakers can find it in both formats from their favourite retailers – Disclaimer: please avoid buying from Amazon, Google or Apple whenever possible – for paperback copies, look out for the book in your local free library, organic shops, small alternative bookshops or when Eddie is attending your local market, follow him on Facebook to stay up to date, alternatively please contact us for assistance or to purchase directly.

Aside from being a book about picking up trash, it is the tale of a wild man’s adventure through France and we actually touch upon so many subjects concerning our crumbling globalised society that I’d be surprised if you didn’t learn anything useful from reading it.

The challenges we are collectively facing are stacking and there is much for us to work on if we hope to leave a world worth living in for future generations – regardless of where you start, start somewhere. Picking up trash is what got the ball rolling for me, the proverbial red pill if you will, and it could well be yours.

Nothing can stop you now, you have the potential to become a conscious human who cares about your future, the kids, the animals and the planet, go you! These beautiful natural vistas and busy city streets are ours. They are mine and they are yours. Why not take responsibility for the beauty of where you live.
BE that change you want to see.

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