FEBRUARY is my least favourite month. Those of us whose research depends on successfully applying for research grants invariably find that the March deadlines sneak up on us because this miserable month is so short.
Likewise, I am sure you all think that each year you will do your bit to clean up Australia by joining the Clean Up Australia crew on March 1 and then find that it sneaks up on you before you know it and you have made other plans so can’t put your gloves on and fill that garbage bag.
This year, the 15th of the new century, is surely the time to make a big effort and join the thousands of others who spend a Sunday morning making our environment a less-garbaged place.
Every year more than 6million tonnes of rubbish end up in the world’s oceans, of which 80per cent are plastics.
Australians alone dispose of about 7150 recyclable plastic bags a minute, after being in use for only 15minutes or so, which poses a great threat to the environment – especially if you realise that it might take up to 1000 years for a single plastic bag to break down.
If you live in the city and overlook a park, as I do, you will see the garbage that is there just waiting to make it into the stormwater drains and then in the harbour.
If you live in the bush, you will see mattresses, sofas, fridges and freezers adorning the quiet tracks where someone in the dead of night has unloaded their unconscionable loads. Sunday, March 1 is the time to do something about it.
I challenge you to make a supreme effort this year to activate your family, your friends or your neighbours and clean up your local street, and then get them all together for a barbecue and a chat.
Or join in the clean up of Warabrook Wetland Reserve from 9am to 11am: meet at the end of Decora Close and finish with free morning tea! Dr Seuss and the Lorax once again: ‘‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’’