Respect Nature by Charleene Armitage

In the past several months, my partner and I Nick Evans, have consciously been made aware of just how much worse Britain’s litter problem has become. We would often go out for the day and notice how bad the situation was and we would always say that we wanted to do something about it. We feel that now it is time, we just cannot ignore such a crime against nature any longer! Fast food littering and fly- tipping are on the rise! Everywhere we go, we can see that people are finding this offensive, we believe we are on the verge of a crisis! I have been fortunate enough to travel the world and I believe that Britain is, or is fast becoming really neglected in this area. We have heard that over the coming years the local authorities will have to cut back even more, so if we do not act now, then the future of our beautiful country will be unimaginable. However, we do feel that there’s a real positive sign that we can look at here, it’s not all “doom and gloom” as many would think. Times are changing and people are starting to come together and take action for many things around the world, communities are gathering and taking charge, and this is what we feel needs to happen in cleaning up our planet. Working together and not waiting around and relying on a higher power that obviously does not care about nature, we do and we need to act NOW! 

Over the past few months we have noticed an increase in the general throwing of rubbish, which has obviously been thrown from car windows, not to mention the dog poo bags which are scattered all over our beautiful forests,. either on the floor or hanging from a tree. If you have driven down the motorway then I am sure you will have seen the sights in the lay-by’s, bins overflowing, the ground is just covered in litter! You will even see it in the trees, this is a real problem and we both feel it is getting out of control. This contamination is also found in our rivers and lakes, it really is a devastating site to see such a beautiful planet being treated in this way. This not only affects us, but our wildlife is suffering too. In one forest we found broken glass, tangled rope and plastic bags, all of which can harm the forest life, we of course removed these things right away. What we are seeing right now is environmental vandalism at its worst, it is unpleasant and distressing to see on many levels. 

So why did we want to write this article and bring this to the reader’s attention? 

Our desire is to bring communities together, arrange big monthly “clean ups”, we would like to go into schools and inspire children, it really is about working together and taking action. When Nick and I look at the environmental state of our country and our world, what it is actually showing us? Is it the state of mind that many people are living in? Let’s help them to find their way and find themselves! Until then, it is important for us to join forces and clean up our planet, so let’s do this! Together, create more beauty for all of us to enjoy. 

“If not now, then when? If not you, then who?” 

Where you live and how you live, really matters. Cleaner streets, beaches parks and forests are what we crave, and this will provide the backbone for stronger communities. We need to preserve resources, we need to waste less, and definitely recycle more. Caring for your environment is the first step to a better society, so be proud of where you live. 

A few tips to get you started: 

• While out walking, carry a bag and gloves or a litter picking stick,
pick up as you go. Involve your children in litter picking, make it fun. • Don’t be embarrassed to clean up, you may just inspire someone.
• Write letters to the local authorities and get in touch with magazines
and papers.
• Start your own BIG CLEAN UP.
• Hand out flyers.
• Start a Facebook page or a blog.
• Wear a T-shirt that represents Keeping Britain Tidy.
• Record videos and share them. 

We would like to see something brought into this country that is already very successful in Orkney in Scotland. They have a system called “pick up three pieces”, where everyone that goes walking, picks up three pieces of litter and pops it into the bin, everyone can do this and its proven to work. The other scheme that they have, is called, “Bag The Bruck” (bruck meaning rubbish). Groups of people on certain dates go out and bag up the rubbish and leave the bags in designated places and the council collects them. We feel that these systems should be brought to life here, especially in our forests. We aim to be working on this idea for the future. 

Another thing that you could do is to contact us with your ideas. Perhaps we can all meet up to do a “big clean up”. One advantage is that we meet new friends, we think this is a superb balance - so don’t shy away. 

We want to thank you for reading this small article and we hope that we have inspired you to do something, no matter how small. Please feel free to visit us on our Facebook page or website, or email us, you are all welcome.  

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