It’s exam season and I am very fortunate that a) mine are all done and b) my walk to the exam takes me through one of the best parks in town.
Now the park is generally well looked after, and it is clear a lot of people put a reasonable amount of effort in keeping it nice but that partly comes down to the sporting and festival uses the open fields have. The river that runs through it is a whole different story.
I’ve seen a lot worse (having grown up in London and viewed the Thames at least once) but it does seriously detract from the sense of serenity and nature when a plastic bag floats past you, or worse, some sort of rat king abomination of trash that looks like a viable land mass for a micro dystopian society to form.
I get that sometimes rubbish, or trash to our American friends, sometimes gets blown about and has to end up somewhere. Occasionally birds raid bins and things go flying, but we don’t seem to do anything about it once it lands. The worst thing is I’ve seen some perfectly viable solutions implemented elsewhere such as the Balintore Harbour Mr Trash Wheel. This clever project stops floating rubbish from reaching the sea, which is where most of the damage is caused by plastic rubbish, so why don’t we have it here?
Ultimately I don’t have a definitive answer for that, but I do think it has something to do with the lack of community initiatives and the availability of project information. Taking Mr Trash Wheel as an example, if I wanted to make one for my river how do I do it? While more green projects are popping up on sites like instructables, it does take some of the steam out of local projects when it turns out you need to hire a designer.
Devil’s advocate on this is of course it’s a good thing to have a designer who can tailor the project to the location and know it isn’t going to fall apart a week later and add to the problem, but it would be nice to see people being able to throw themselves in to at least trying to make a difference to where they live, and make it just a little bit less rubbish by doing so.