FOR me there’s nothing more infuriating than the sight of a fast food wrapper or cigarette butt being callously thrown from the window of a passing car.
At those moments I often feel like the Peter Finch character in the 1976 movie Network: “I’m as mad, as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore”.
Bruce Martin’s letter in Your Say last weekend (February 16) expressed similar feelings and summed up by saying “we have become a very lazy and selfish society.”
In some ways I agree but events like Clean Up Australia Day give hope. I think the act of littering annoys me so much because it is so preventable, so easy to avoid.
All it takes is a little thought, a little effort, a little consideration.
And that’s why Clean Up Australia Day is so important.
It asks us to think, it asks us to make a little effort, and it asks us to show a little care and consideration for the other people, plants and animals that we share this planet with.
Yes it only happens once a year, but it’s about changing behaviour on the other 364 days.
So if you’re as mad as hell about litter, Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday March 3 is your opportunity to do something about it.
A Little History
The name of Ian Kiernan is synonymous with Clean Up Australia Day. The avid sailor circumnavigated the globe in 1987 as part of the BOC Challenge solo yacht race. It was the rubbish he saw in the world’s oceans that was one of the catalysts for Clean Up Sydney Harbour in 1989, in which 40,000 volunteers participated.
The next year, Clean Up Australia Day was born with more than 300,000 people across the country getting involved.
The numbers have grown ever since and in the past 23 years, Australians have given more than 24 million hours of time and collected over 200,000 tonnes of rubbish.
Clean Up is not just an Australian phenomenon either. Clean Up the World was launched in 1993 with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme.
More than 35 million people in 120 countries now take part.
Clean Up the World will be held from September 20 to 22 this year.
These are some very impressive figures for a community-based environment event started by one ‘average Australian bloke’ and his friends.
What’s happening in Orange
Eighteen sites have been registered in the 2800 postcode for this year’s clean up, including a large number by Orange City Council.
A list of sites can be found at the Clean Up Australia website, www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au where individuals can join an existing site or set up a new site.
ECCO is strongly encouraging its members and supporters to donate a few hours on the day to help create a cleaner, greener Orange.
And if you’ve ever been ‘mad as hell’ about the rubbish on our streets and in our parks and creeks, Clean Up Australia Day is your opportunity to take action and help maintain Orange as a place where people feel proud to live.