Action. It changes things. It brings about transformation, progress… it creates history given that what is done is done. Action is the most practical aspect of realization. Someone rightly said, “Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned”. It is with this belief that a group of young men and women came together on World Cleanup Day 2020, last September, under the umbrella of the association “For Earth’s Sake”, to serve their community, taking action for a cleaner, healthier environment.
Sixteen volunteers, three hours of work, four hundred metres stretch of road, and close to seven thousand litres of plastic trash picked up. But it was not merely all about World Cleanup Day. It was for the love of the environment and the people that live and operate in it. The minute detail that many who have imagined a utopic world may not pay attention to is that it has a perfect natural habitat. Everything is in order including the surrounding. What is a utopia without it being squeaky clean, from the air we breathe to the very path we walk on?
Creating a clean environment begins with a thought pattern, a consciousness, an awareness. One could say then that cleanliness is a way of thinking; our external environment reflects our internal state. If we must achieve a healthy place for us all to live in, it will start from within our minds, and it will begin with each of us, wherever we are. It will be a collective action, and not a responsibility that we pass on or attribute to another, while we remain indifferent.
Garbage collection companies can only do as much as they can. Their collection may even not be regular. In fact, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), two to three billion people, mostly in the least developed countries, lack access to regular waste collection. The role that we each have to play cannot be overstated, therefore. With certain lifestyle, thought pattern, and consumer habit adjustments, we can reduce the amount of waste that ends up on our streets. We can realize our own little utopia, not by the wave of a magic wand but with simple, collective actions that make a world of difference.
World Cleanup Day is every day. Be committed to the action and watch it grow to become a culture.