5 a day – being a tidy Kiwi!

be a tidy kiwi 2

Nelson is a small compact city. A well contained  pretty precious gem sitting at the top of New Zealand’s South Island.

I am lucky enough to live here, and every Friday I get to work within its perfectly formed CBD.

nelson city 1

As is my usual practice, yesterday morning I parked my car for free on Cathedral Hill, a short 5 minute downhill walk into town. Even at 8.15am there were still plenty of car parks available, and after locking up I followed a throng of 2 commuters down the hill. I smiled to myself as I remembered 6 years of enduring commuting on the Tube in London and then having to walk across London Bridge twice a day.

commuters

At the same time as I started walking, a woman in a smart black skirt and crisp white shirt started to cross the road to my side of the footpath. She had parked on the other side of the road. I imagined she worked as a professional, perhaps a lawyer or accountant. She was 20 metres further down the hill from me and I noticed she stopped in the middle of the road, then bent down to pick something up. I thought she may have dropped  her car keys.

When she finally crossed the road, I followed her down the hill – a weighty shadow some fifteen metres behind her.

Suddenly she stopped again. Then bent down, again picking something up.

pick_up_litter

Then it struck me what she was doing. She was picking up litter!

She stopped a further 3 times as she walked down the hill. I noted she picked up an empty cigarette packet from the gutter, a cardboard drink container from the midst of a shrub growing alongside the footpath, then some other miscellaneous piece of litter on the footpath itself. I wondered whether she was a good Samaritan or was living with OCD?

As we reached the bottom of the hill she started to turn right, while I was bound to continue going straight. Curiosity got the better of me. I called out.

‘Excuse me,’ I enquired, ‘I was walking behind you and noticed you picking up litter. That’s pretty amazing. I just wanted to know why?’

She smiled at me. Why not? She asked in return.

‘Imagine if everyone picked up even just one or two pieces of litter a day!’ She said.’What difference it would make. I do it because it makes me feel I’m contributing, doing my bit. It makes me feel good.!’

I smiled back, ‘your’e right,’ I said starting to blush. I was embarrassed, I’m not a litter bug and I detest people who are, but apart from moaning about it  I actually do nothing positive about litter.

5 a day

5 a day dietitians and doctors pronounce! But maybe we shouldn’t restrict our 5 a day efforts and mantra’s to just fruit and vege. Perhaps picking up 5 pieces of litter a day will equally add to our well being, it will certainly help our environment.

I’m starting my efforts today, why don’t you too? I challenge you!

be a tidy kiwi 1

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