Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quick tip: A piece of garbage a day.

Does this ever happen to you? Someone tells you something that you think is a great idea and then completely forget about until a few days/weeks/months (why not years?) later and then suddenly, after all that time has passed, everything falls into place and you remember it for good and it makes most sense to you? Maybe not, but this happened to me yesterday.

I had just arrived in Tampere from Helsinki and was walking home from the train station. My thoughts wandered aimlessly as I walked by piles of garbage in a ditch that runs along the railroad tracks.
"I could clean this all up, but come next week, this place would look the same."
I had some circular thoughts for awhile, until my thoughts came around to the masses:
what if everyone picked up one piece of garbage a day?

So instead of raising awareness one event at a time (like our very successful garbage pick-up event which has made me super aware of the issue), we'd be working towards a cleaner city bit-by-bit everyday. Then no one would feel like they were the only ones worried about it, and you could relax knowing that you'd made a small difference (and would continue to do so.)

I thought for a bit about where this idea had come from, and I give the credit entirely to my friend's son Moo, who had this idea a few years ago and was so passionate about it, that he emailed it to George W. Bush (who was still president at the time). So it's my hope that Moo's idea can get passed around to more people in Tampere and in every other city around the world!

A list to convince you further:
- you can choose what to pick up (especially if it's near a garbage already),
- if people are looking at you while you do this it's because they're just curious and happily surprised,
- if people see you doing this, they are more likely to do it too,
- people who litter will encounter an increasing number of people who will say something to them when they do,
- there will be one less piece of garbage being blow around by the wind,
- you'll feel really great on a day when you'll be looking for that one piece and you won't see any.

Check out: (as recommended by Anne)


  1. Irina, while walking to the door of the store Hong Kong today, I reached down and picked up an ice cream wrapper that was in my path! So I did it for today! It felt great to do it...also I guess I have caught your passion...can't stand to see it and I see it everywhere!

  2. That's awesome Donna, but I think we've been catching each other's passion because I got mine from you :P In any case, I'll stop being upset by the garbage now, if I know there are at least a few more people out there seeing it and doing something about it :)

    Have you heard of this?

  4. I have now! That's awesome. I'll add it to the post. Kiitos!