Janet`s June 2021 Letter to the Community

Janet’s June 2021 Letter to the Community


Many of you will know that, over the last few months, I have been increasingly concerned – some would say “obsessed” – by the problem of litter and the dumping of rubbish, particularly in our local green spaces. I have been picking up litter very regularly on my daily walks through Westwood and Seven Kings Parks and the grounds of Goodmayes Hospital and am delighted to have been joined on a couple of mass litter picks by a wonderful group of other volunteers equally concerned and willing to help – resulting in the collection of 102 bags of litter in the week around the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Why does it matter?  There are several reasons:  firstly, litter is ugly.  It scars the natural beauty of the landscape and reduces our enjoyment of it – even if that landscape is just a few bushes.  Secondly, it is unhygienic.  What is thrown away never ceases to amaze me.  I have found soiled nappies barely concealed in bushes in areas where children are playing just a few feet away.  Thirdly, it can be dangerous; glass bottles are an obvious danger, but so are broken plastic bottles that become brittle and sharp in the sunlight, creating a hazard for pets and small children alike. 

All of these are important reasons to reduce littering, but the overwhelming imperative to address this issue is environmental concern.  Small animals get trapped in rubbish; items degrade, releasing toxic chemicals and microparticles that are absorbed into the soil and eventually into the water table; plastic bags are blown into streams, creating choke points or passing on into larger water courses, ending up in the ocean where plastic pollution is a huge problem.

God created a beautiful world for us to use and enjoy, but we have a responsibility to care for it – for ourselves and for the generations to come.  There are many environmental challenges facing us in this age, some of which seem so big that we can end up feeling overwhelmed and helpless.  But we can do something about litter.  Being very careful not to add to the problem is one obvious action we can take.  Making sure our young people are properly educated about the consequences of littering is another.  And coming to help with litter clearance is yet another.  I’d be delighted to hear from anyone else who’d like to join in!


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