Saturday, 30 March 2013

On my journey this year. . . .

. . . . I travelled 429 miles, operated 17 lifted bridges and went through 267 locks. My collection of 149 bags of rubbish  this trip brings to 306 bin liners full of our rubbish collected. Yet I failed in my task. Not once did I stop and feel that someone had beat me to it. The whole point of me doing this is to encourage others to follow suit. I know some are. but most aren't.
Let me re-iterate, no one is paid to do this so it wont get done unless you and I do it. There simply is no money. Litter on our canals is becoming a serious problem. Not only is it unsightly but half empty beer cans carelessly discarded soon fill up with the bodies of slugs and in many cases voles, mice etc (I suppose they die happy). Various creatures eat the rubbish discarded by us humans and DIE! Cans thrown into the hedgerow are shredded by well meaning volunteers with brush cutters and endanger wildlife, our pets and even our children with sharp edges of shredded cans spread across the towpath. Animals get caught/trapped by the continuous spewing of our litter, where it is not wanted, and they die in hunger or in pain through infection.DSCF8237
Litter is a problem. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. Even though you may not discard litter, if you don’t pick it up when you see it, you are contributing to its effects.
There is no reason why when you moor up you cant get a bin liner and go collect the rubbish in your vicinity, say 100 yards either side of the boat. Standing at the tiller for several hours causes muscles to stiffen up. Picking up litter will enable you to stretch and exercise those stiff muscles. If you are feeling really energetic then maybe half a mile or more. You choose. And when you have contributed to the solution encourage others to do the same, boaters, walkers, fisherman they can all help.
There are 2000 miles of canal and there are 36000 boats if every boat owner litter picked 100 yards of canal the problem would be solved.
That’s all it would take. Not a lot is it?
So what does it cost? Well you will need bin liners. You may have bin liners but if not £1 for thirty in Poundland. Gloves might be handy £1 in Poundland. Litter picker £1 in Poundland (maybe), but about £5 in disability shops and as little as £3 on the internet. You will have to put up with a bin liner or two on the roof until you get to a disposal point, but that’s no hardship.
So let us all make it a part of our routine while out on the canals this year. Enjoy the cruise, moor up, litter pick the area, wash up for dinner. Come on guys its easy we can all do this and we can all succeed in making our canals beautiful . You can even get the kids to do it with holding food until its done.


Lisa said...

I am a convert and going on me boat very soon. I am one of those nasty winter marina types, but don't hate me as I will be a rubbish picker upper from now on.
Keep up the good work,
NB What a Lark (Only in nice weather mind!)

Peter said...

Well said Maffi, and full marks for your efforts. Like Lisa I'll do my bit.

NB Rowan