Sustainability action 3: picking up rubbish
A dead mouse in a bottle was a graphic reminder how discarded rubbish harms wildlife.
An individual can take sustainable action by not taking energy out of the environment such as by using solar power; they can put energy back into the environment by planting trees; or they can repair damage to energy systems by eliminating disruptions like removing discarded rubbish.
I walked to an ancient nature park called Hilly Fields in Colchester armed with two bags to pick up rubbish. The discarding of rubbish does harm to the animals, plants and the environment they depend upon. In Britain we have a Queen, who resides mostly at Buckingham Palace in London; on Hilly Fields is the former royal palace of the first recorded King of Britain, called Cunobelin, recognised and recorded as such by the Roman Emperors from the time of Emperor Augustus. The Queen has no trouble with litter at Buckingham Palace, but at Hilly Fields it is a different story. Whilst Hilly Fields was reasonably clean, I still came away with two full bags of rubbish.
As a graphic reminder of the harm rubbish does to wildlife I came across a discarded glass bottle. Poking out of the end of this bottle was the head of a dead mouse. The mouse had got into the bottle, became trapped, and died. Less than five metres away from the bottle with the dead mouse was a litter bin. I was angry. A lazy, ignorant, careless human being had rather than using the litter bin steps away had thrown the bottle on the ground, a living creature paid for that carelessness with its life. All actions have consequences; small may be our actions, thoughts and words, large can be the impact.
A few hundred yards from the dead mouse Druids from two thousand years ago had buried a cauldron, known as the Sheepen Cauldron in honour to their earth goddess. These Druids would be horrified if they knew how their Colchester descendants treat the earth, the very location where they walked with respect, by dumping rubbish across it, leading to pollution of the ground and the death of animals. Those who live in the modern age tend to view our ancestors as backward savages, but I wondered who really is the backward savage.
I find my sustainable actions open doors to other activities. After returning home I wrote an e-mail to my local Colchester councillors asking for signs to be put up in all Colchester nature parks telling people to take their rubbish home with them. A letter is planned for the local newspaper.