The word “autumn” conjures up images of shorter days, Halloween festivities and Bonfire Night fireworks, and leaves changing into brilliant bursts of red, orange, and yellow. Yet what do all of these things have in common? They seem to contribute to the already high levels of litter in the country.
Longer nights mean more people out and about under the cover of darkness, feeling that their actions are unseen. Yet George Orwell was on to something: People are more likely to behave better if they feel they’re being watched.
Holidays bring with them their own assorted rubbish. Rubbish Walks Heybridge found a number of fireworks after Bonfire Night, and I picked up quite a few sweet wrappers and even unopened pieces of candy after Halloween.
And the leaves. I love the sight of trees in their autumn finery, bright and beautiful. Yet the leaves soon drop, creating a colourful, crunchy layer that invites litter – “No one will see it here” seems to be the thought process behind adding rubbish to the mix.
As autumn gives way to winter, the litter that has been hidden all year under vegetation will start to emerge. While our organised Community Clean Ups have drawn to a close for this year, I hope that everyone who reads this will consider going on their own rubbish walk or just picking up litter as they go about their daily routine of getting from A to B. Spring cleaning is great … but litter needs attention in summer, winter, and autumn too.
Check out the Rubbish Walks Chippenham Twitter feed (@RubbishWalksCPM) for the occasional photo of things that are better than litter … because sometimes you just have to look up!