I remember it clearly; a busy day, mid August, at the height of a long awaited bustling tourist season. I was walking behind two English ladies who were happily strolling along, chatting in front of me. I couldn’t help but hear them talking about how disgraceful it was to see discarded pieces of paper lying on the pavement, as they walked on by.
I wanted to go over to them and not only explain why it’s hard to keep Marbella clean but also to enquire as to why they didn’t just bend down, pick them up and pop them in the bin, like I then did. They weren’t too old, they live here all year round so shouldn’t they feel pride in helping keep our city clean?
They probably thought the Town Hall should be better at their jobs to keep the city clean but I know that any Spanish city depends on the funds handed out by the central government, according to the number of inhabitants registered on the Town Census and so many of our foreign population is not on the town census, that there are insufficient funds available to cover the needs of those of us who live here, let alone the influx of tourists that more than doubles our population during peak seasons.
Even knowing this however, I have to admit that just a few days later I walked straight over some pamphlets lying on the pavement, without giving it a second thought until I was well past them. I suddenly remembered the English women, reacted, walked back and followed my own advice. Even when we’re in a hurry there should be time for that!
This is why I was so ecstatic to come across a father and daughter combo, recently moved to Marbella from the UK, who have brought with them an idea that really tackles this very issue. They call themselves “Litter Pickers” and I love it!
They organise informal, social get-togethers to meet new people, make friends whilst taking nice walks along different routes and picking up the litter they find on the way.
I will be will be joining the litter picker group on their next outing, Saturday 4th February 2017 and they’d love to welcome you too.
This idea is one of those ridiculously easy things we can all do, whenever and wherever; we’re all eligible to “pick up” on this simply wonderful idea and I certainly hope it catches on!
We’ll be meeting on Saturday 4th February 2017 at the Marbella Pizza Kitchen, Avenida del Prado, 29660 Marbella at 2.00 – we should be back by 3.30 – bring a big rubbish bag, something to protect your hands (ie., a shopping bag or plastic glove), and a big smile!