For a long time I’ve been taking part in mini beach cleans. By this, I mean collecting bits of plastic and other detritus whenever I am walking the pooches at a beach.
I came across the #2minute beach clean and that seemed to sum up my own philosophy. Except I can never only take 2 minutes – there’s always so much to pick up. You may think you’re walking along a clean beach, but if you really start looking, it won’t take you long to discover your first piece of plastic.
As well as beach walks, I love walking in the woods. Any woods. Woods large, woods small. Forests, if I find one. But in the past few months I have noticed a depressing trend for littering. Sweet wrappers, discarded fag packets and just the other day I found a pristine can of Stella Artois. Sadly empty, but still shiny.
So I’ve started litter picking in the woods, filling my pockets with bits of rubbish and carrying anything large. Bringing home the empty can of Stella at 9am made me feel quite the lush (in fact it reminded me of my youth….).
At the weekends I like to get out for a longer walk with the dogs, at Woodbury Common, Blackborough Woods, or East Hill across to Fire Beacon Hill. Blows the cobwebs away, and sometimes a few brain cells, of which there are a diminishing number anyway.
So there I was, wandering through a quiet peace of woodland (already with a few bits of litter in my pocket) when I spotted something. A large piece of litter, stuck under a log. I started grumbling out loud about the stupidity of litter louts (the mad dog woman talking to herself again).
But when I came up to the litter, it wasn’t litter at all. It was a pristine, and I mean pristine, ten pound note. I looked around for cameras. I tentatively touched it, thinking it might be stuck down for a joke. But no, it was there for the taking! I picked it up, I put it in a pocket without litter in. I walked on.
I felt bad, I felt guilty. I thought about ringing the police station in case someone had reported losing a tenner. Then I realised that no-one at the police station would answer the phone, and if I took the tenner in… (insert your own thoughts here).
Then it struck me. Only someone concerned about litter would have found that tenner. My friends said it was Karma. But for me, it must have been the God or Goddess of Litter Picking. It must.
Suffice to say, I now feel obliged to pick up even more litter than I did before. But hey, I’ve been paid so what’s to worry about?