(By Anna Breeker) Rubbish everywhere, and even more rubbish where the rubbish is supposed to be collected. Rubbish in the streets, rubbish by the river where lots of people come from the cities to enjoy the countryside for a day or for weekends, for us then to enjoy their rubbish after they leave. It is left all over the place, or at the very best put in bags which are then left by the side of the road, somewhere near the containers. Do people really think someone else will pick them up and dispose of them? Gnomes maybe?
Stray cats and dogs get in at night looking for food and pull the bags to pieces, result: rubbish all over the road, including glass.>
There are great signs up: do not leave your rubbish, but it´s everywhere, and once there is some, it is the perfect excuse for others to leave some or much more.
The (new) car is sacred, so ice cream papers, cigarette packets and cans are thrown out of the windows onto the street, in the countryside. Heaven forbid that we have a little bag in the car for our rubbish and dispose of that when we get home or to our destination.
Maybe one question comes to mind, do we enjoy rubbish when we see it? If the answer is no, which seems the most likely, then please do not add to what is already there.
When we first came here a neighbor chucked a battery in the river, and small as they were my children protested. He said: ´but everyone does it´ and of course we answered: ´But THAT is the problem ´. Do we all jump off the bridge if someone else does? Or do we have a critical mind of our own and a conscience?
There are rubbish bins, agreed, there could be more and I am working on it with the department of Environment at the town hall, but more important is to use the ones available. And, as I read on Tiojimeno: if we can carry the full tins to where ever we go , can we not carry the empty ones home or to the nearest bins?
My children and I cleaned up some 500 meters of road the other day, before we had reached the end we had two large garbage bags full of rubbish, including containers of engine oil and we did not get it all in one go. Mostly they collected, tins, plastic bottles and paper and I collected the glass for their safety. What possesses people to throw bottles? What about the risk of a fire? Children getting hurt?
I do not see myself as a ´giri´ who knows it all, but I have felt that Jimena has been my home for many years. I have loved it from day one and I would like to contribute to making things better where I can. But I cannot do it alone.
Change requires action, individually and collectively. It needs a willingness to change what is not right, not healthy and certainly not enjoyable. It demands that we CARE, that we are not indifferent.
Jimena and its precious countryside deserve better, much better.