Archives for July 2014

A little thing you can do to make you happy…

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 Whether you’re out and about or at home this summer, here’s a little tip to make you happy. Every time you go out, pick up some litter and put it in a bin.

 I’ve been doing this for years and it’s my little way of making a difference. It will cost you nothing, get you outside in the fresh air, give you exercise and, yes, make you happy.

At the beginning it can be a challenge not to grumble about people who drop rubbish in the streets, but, as we all know, it is healthy to stop moaning. Think of the other things you could think about instead – noticing what is around you, smiling at people and saying hello, taking the time to stroll – it really brings you into the moment.

I have just spent five days down in Surrey with my mother. Each time I went out, I did a litter pick. The first day I must have collected four loads in a very short space of time. The next day was no better as I walked a different way, but by the last day things were beginning to look much better. And there were terrific side effects. I received beaming smiles from strangers, had some lovely chats and even saw others catching on and following suit.

Litter picking is a fun and healthy way to make a difference. It’s relaxing too because you have to walk slowly and stop frequently. Of course you have to be mindful of traffic and also of picking up sharp objects, so you may wish to have a pair of thick garden gloves to hand.

It’s not just a summer activity – rubbish is far more noticeable in the winter when the greenery has died back. One of my New Year activities is to take a large bin liner, a wheel barrow and get collecting. Last year, in the beautiful Oxfordshire village where I live, I collected five rubbish bags full of rubbish in 100 yards. Almost all of it had been thrown out of car windows.

Sadly, animals and birds often fall prey to litter, either getting trapped by string, wire and plastic or by eating it as they forage. I will never forget a horrific film posted on Face Book about birds living on a remote island. At first glance it seemed that they lived in paradise. The second glance showed the awful truth. A vast amount of plastic litter was being washed up onto the beach every day from the sea. Parent birds mistakenly fed bottle tops, silver paper and ring pulls to their chicks which then died an agonising death.

Mother Earth is a beautiful planet and her creatures need to be protected and saved. Picking up litter is a small but important way of showing respectsaying thank you and appreciating all that we are given.

Happy litter picking and happy August!

Love Laurelle  x