Seems like a might have been a bit ahead of myself with the previous post. Perhaps I should have posted it today – Earth Day? Something I could write about, seemingly, forever, even with the limited knowledge I have! Still, there is one. particular thing which has been irking me of late, which is connected to the theme, and it is the most basic thing possible that everyone on the planet can do to help protect it and make life pleasanter for those around us, as well as ourselves, and that is pick up, take home or deposit in the appropriate place your bl**dy RUBBISH!
I write about trash in Tenerife because it’s where I live, but don’t get the idea that I’m dissing Tenerife specifically. It happens the world over, as blogger Barbara Weibel disclosed in her blog, HoleintheDonut, the other day – even in countries which we imagine as being more “innocent” in this respect. I simply write about where and what my own current experience is.
First the good stuff: Almost everywhere I go in Tenerife the local councils have excellent provision for recycling. Within two minutes of my apartment in El Médano there are three places where I can deposit paper, glass and plastics/tins for recycling, right by the containers for tossing what rubbish is left after you’ve subtracted those items. It makes it so easy, compared, say, to places in England which I know (Sadly, no organic recycling, though I know they have it on the mainland). This has been true of everywhere I lived over the past six years, which is 3 different towns, and two different municipalities. Even up in the Teide National Park you can find them.
There are also places called Punto Limpio, where you can take heavier rubbish to dispose of, like old furniture, tv sets, tires, x-rays, batteries and other such things. The nearest one to me is about fifteen minutes away, and they open Sundays.
Isn’t all of that wonderful? Simple and easy? Now for the bad stuff: so then, why do people leave broken chairs, bicycles, surf boards or old ovens cluttering up the street next to the garbage containers? Why do they throw everything from candy wrappers to cigarette ends to entire bags of rubbish out of cars? Why, when walking in the country do I invariably come across abandoned cars, heaps of builders’ rubbish and tossed-out ‘fridges, not to mention tin cans and cigarette ends? Right next to where I stood last year to take this snap
there were two piles of trash including paint cans, a burnt-out car door and fenders, chunks of concrete blocks and cement bags. This on a famous walk to see the beauty of the almond blossoms, and much promoted by the council of Santiago del Teide and even by the island government.
I used to have a file of photos of trash, maybe thinking of doing a post like this, but I deleted them all some time ago, feeling guilty about dwelling on the unpleasant side of life, when there is, truly, so much beauty around me constantly. However, just the other day I had to suppress my anger, when we were queuing for the casting for the Titans movie (not heard anything btw, so that’s a no-go then). I mentioned the casting happened about a minute’s walk from my house, actually, just by where I snapped this photo a few months back –
Along the seashore, next to the dunes, there is a low wall, which was very handy on the day, as it gave folk a place to perch whilst waiting. However, as the queue began to move along we realized that, like us, many people had taken food or drink to tide them over, and that many people were tossing their rubbish over onto the dunes, amongst the junipers which grow there.
When Cristina was spotted taking snaps she was asked, sarcastically, if she was from Greenpeace, i.e. what gives you the right to record our abuse of the landscape?! You see, I’d like to have thought that a bit of education was necessary, but clearly they knew why we were snapping, and they were aware of what Greenpeace is. It was so absolutely arrogant and uncaring and disrespectful of others as to be astounding.
You could say that the local council does its bit to try to improve things. They actually have an environmental department, and they produce very good leaflet.
It covers subjects like how to use household appliances and lighting and still save electricity, including how best to wash the dishes, saving electricity in the bathroom, information about cleaning products and air-conditioning/heating, responsible use and disposal of batteries, paper and computers. There is even a section on cosmetics and personal hygiene items, and on the last page (above) advice about what you can and cannot put in those recycling bins. So how come people were sitting on that wall throwing their paper cups and food wrappings onto the beach? And I’m only talking about the aesthetics of it here really – don’t let’s get into the subject of the damage it might do to wildlife. I can only say that I was totally, totally disgusted, and not only by the fact that they were doing it, but that they did it knowingly and were shameless about it.
Tell me, if you lived somewhere like this –
why, on earth, would you want to foul it? These pictures were taken in various places in the south of the island, when walking Trixy mainly, the sort of places where people like to go to enjoy the beauty of nature, as you can see. I don’t mean to imply that every one of the over one thousand people in that queue were irresponsibly discarding their litter, or that every car you pass on the road is tossing trash from its windows, or that everyone is so arrogant and uncaring. The fact that the booklet is produced, that there are such excellent systems for recycling says far more for the island than those igits, but there is still something lacking, and if education isn’t working, then penalties must be imposed for fouling our living space.
My apologies to those of you elsewhere, which is most of you, I know, I need to rant a bit, and I know it’s probably boring if you don’t live here. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible (as the BBC used to say).