I keep reading a lot of posts about the Tenterden Clean Up Campaign (or the Clean Up Tenterden Campaign, depending on the source) on the Tenterden Town Website Forum. People complaining about the litter problem, dog poo, and general vandalism and graffiti that pops up all over our town. And I agree, it is a problem. Trouble is, a few random people here and there cannot make much of a dent in it.
One of the fundamental behind Transition Initiatives is that besides the greening of the town, the whole process brings the community together by requiring community action for it to be effective. So, I'm just throwing out a suggestion here, but let me back up a little first.
This morning as I walked into town I was feeling a little down. I was walking through 'the Wood Way', aka Public Right Of Way AB36, well known to those who use it as the footpath that connects Abbott Way with Sandy Lane. Feeling a little under the weather, I was looking at the ground as I walked and noticed a ton of litter items in the grass verges and the stream and even directly in the footpath. There was even a broken stroller shoved into a bush. It just amazed me that people just shun any responsibility when it comes to trash, it's just someone else's problem.
So here's my suggestion, and it will not only help to make the town look better, rid us of litter, and teach people that trash (and recycling) is everybody's problem, not just the council employees or the people who work for the recycling companies.
My suggestion is to have a Town-wide day of cleanup, where teams of people (adults and kids alike) go along all of our streets, alleys, footpaths and byways, picking up trash (using litter-pickers and rubber gloves of course, since we are all Health & Safety barmy in this country now) and then bringing it back to a central location, say, the recycling containers behind the Leisure Centre, where others will await their arrival to help sort it all, then that which can be recycled will be placed in the appropriate bin. It will be a great family event in which even the littlies can participate, and the sheer amount that will be gathered will probably send a huge message that will hopefully be an eye-opener to all and sundry and a timely reminder that we all need to do our bit. It's not 'somebody else's problem', it is an issue that concerns us all.
I've always been a person who learns better by doing and I think I am not alone in this. As the great Early Childhood Educator Bev Bos once said, "If it hasn't been in the hands, it can't be in the head". Here's an opportunity to educate everyone. What do my other members think about this idea?