That’s right, if you can carry it in, you can carry it out. It is a very simple rule to follow that unfortunately a few people out there simple refuse to follow. What am I talking about? Have I lost my mind? No, well not quite although the reasons for this topic did send me a little wild and did cause me to blow my lid a bit.
Carry it in, Carry it out, is about rubbish, and inparticular the packaging and containers that you take with you. When you head out on your own adventures, whether that be a camping trip, fishing trip, bushwalking, four wheel driving trip or even your basic family picnic at your favourite rest area, once that container and/or packaging is done with it becomes rubbish and you take it back home with you and dispose of it in your own garbage disposal collection,. It really is that simple.
This came to a head and really upset and annoyed me when my family and I took advantage of the relaxing of the COVID lockdown rules and headed out for a day trip to the magnificent Paradise Falls, just out of Whitfield in Victoria.
If you have ever had the opportunity to experience the beauty that is Paradise Falls then you know exactly how serene it really is, a brief bushwalk followed by a stunning 30 metre waterfall, more about the falls in a later post.
On this particular day there were many others who were also taking advantage of the states new found freedom and as far as “social distancing” is concerned, there were no worries. There was a young family, at the falls, enjoying a somewhat peaceful picnic, others who raced down took a few quick photos and raced back to their car, groups of teenagers out for some fresh air and for the most part everyone was well behaved.
It was on our return walk that I got a tad worked up, half way back to the car park, there in the middle of the walking track was a freshly dropped single can of soft drink. So what you ask, it’s only a single can, well it is an attitude like that, that can, and does, lead to larger problems down the track. Now my wife remembered seeing a young man drinking this can of soft drink down at the falls, and it definately was not there on our trek down to the falls, unfortunately the culprit was long gone by the time we got back to the car park otherwise he would have been taking his rubbish home with him had he liked it or not.
Now before you ask, I took the offending can home with me and disposed of it correctly, however if we as a whole community don’t wake up and stop this act of littering, especially in these pristine parts of our countryside then the governing authorities will just close the access to these attractions, leaving us with nowhere to enjoy this amazing country that we live in.
If you don’t think this will ever eventuate then think again, because it is already happening. All around Australia access to beautiful landmarks and locations are being restricted and blocked and one of those reasons is due to a small number, and I really do mean a small number, of people doing the wrong thing and leaving, or even worse, dumping, their rubbish, leaving those areas in a total mess.
When rubbish is left behind someone has to clean it up, there are volunteer groups who give up their spare time to clean up areas, individuals who take it upon themselves to clean up after someone else and even local Parks authorities who clean up during their routine inspections. However I personally think that the best way to combat this is that if we all just take our own rubbish home with us and dispose of it correctly, then those volunteers can enjoy these spaces rather than cleaning them up and the Parks Rangers can focus on routine maintenance not regular litter removal.
Why do these people, whom recklessly leave their rubbish lying around, do so? Maybe it’s laziness, maybe they refuse to have rubbish floating around on the floor of their car or maybe it’s just that they don’t understand the ramifications of leaving their rubbish lying around, waiting for someone else to pick it up, what ever the reason it has to stop.
My solution to this problem is simple, easy to apply and extremly cheap, infact in some instances it may not even cost you an extra cent. It is called a rubbish bag, or garbage bag. I’m not talking those large black bags, although they would work too, I’m talking about small bags that pop up every where. You could go to the supermarket and buy a packet of small sized garbage bags, but there is an even cheaper way around this and it may even mean that there is one less bag in landfill, a win/win if you ask me. When you go to the supermarket and buy some fruit or veg for your adventure, you will more than likely put said fruit and veg in one of those plastic bags that the supermarket provides, so why not reuse those bags as a garbage bag, and place your waste and rubbish in the bag and then simply dispose of that bag in your bin at home when you get there. Infact any bag, or box, that you have floating around your car can become your make shift garbage bin, allowing you to store it all there untill you get home allowing you to dispose of it correctly.
As you can see by implementing this one little, overly simple idea we will increase the chances of our favourite areas and locations remaining open for future generations to use and enjoy. So if you can carry it in, you can carry it out, it’s that simple.
Doing the right thing is always the right thing and remember there is an Adventure on Every Road.