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Introduction
Roadsides and atmosphere
Where have I been?
  Clare area
  Crystal Brook area
  Mandurah
  Singapore
  Climate Walk
What can you do?
What type of rubbish is there?
  Throw-away cups
Climate change
Councils
Links
Index

Walking for climate change awareness: cleaning up the roadsides at the same time

Some people dump rubbish on roadsides; some people dump waste gasses into the atmosphere. Both actions are irresponsible and harmful and good people should be stopping them from happening.

How can an individual, who likes walking but is a poor talker, make people think about the need to take action on slowing climate change? One possibility is to make the link between rubbishing the roadsides and rubbishing the atmosphere. Then walk the roads, cleaning up the roadsides, and at the same time displaying a sign about the need to clean up the atmosphere.

Cleaning up the roadsides – cleaning up the atmosphere;
it all comes down to ethics in the end.


Written 2013/09/15
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com (David Clarke) – © Google search this site
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Bush Garbos

It happens that Stewart Paxton, coordinator of the Bush Garbos, like me, was based in Clare for a number of years. The Bush Garbos, AKA the Great Tracks Cleanup Crew, pick up big tonnages of rubbish in the SA outback about three times a year. We are both members of the local Lions Club.


Introduction

I love the world as it is. I find it mind-bogglingly beautiful. So a part of the reason for my walking is purely selfish; I want to enjoy the world before it is irreparably damaged by climate change.

Clare morning
Photo 20070718_31

The link: roadsides and atmosphere

There are similarities between the rubbish that is dumped on our roadsides and the carbon dioxide that is dumped into our atmosphere. Both are put there by irresponsible and unethical people; neither should be there. Where they differ is that roadside rubbish is very visible and doesn't do a lot of harm; the greenhouse gases that are dumped into our atmosphere are invisible and are causing huge harm. The carbon dioxide in particular is causing ocean acidification and is one of the main drivers of climate change.

This photo and the one above were taken in South Australia's Clare Valley.
Red stringybark
Trees following a very long hot summer, of the type we will get more often with a climate change future.

Looking at the two photos, which do you prefer?
 
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Where have I been?

Some roadside rubbish; 2013/09/19
Roadside rubbish
The long bits are plastic strips from beneath a young bloke's car; he apparently didn't make allowance for the low clearance of his car not suiting the back road he was on (Jacobs Range Road).

So far I've picked up rubbish in the following areas:

 

Is this bloke mad? Does he think he can stop climate change?

No to both questions, but he does think that the world is so bloody wonderful and so valuable that he has to try; and he does think that he can slow climate change just a little bit if he can get through to enough people.
 
My road-side sign
Road-side sign
 

Some quotes

"Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself."
Sukhraj Dhillon

"If you think you are too small to make a difference, you've never been in a room with a mosquito."
Annita Roddick

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead
 

How to decide what to pick up?

What should be picked up and what is better left?
  • How unsightly is it?
  • How polluting is it?
Paper and other organics (fruit peal etc.) that is not unsightly is better left on the roadside rather than being picked up and going into landfill where it might ferment and release methane into the atmosphere.

I do not generally pick up heavy items such as tyres.

SA, Clare area

Ashby Road, Armagh
2013/09/21, 0.3km

Basham Road
2014/02/23, 0.8km

Benbournie Road
2014/02/23, 1.9km

Blyth Road
2013/09/21, 1.0km; 2013/10/08, 1.2km; 2013/12/14, 0.8km;
2014/01/18, 0.7km; 2014/02/07, 0.4km; 2014/02/10, 0.5km; 2014/04/16, 1.2km; 2014/06/08, 1.5km; 2014/11/06, 0.7km;
2015/02/09, 0.4km; 2015/04/04, 0.5km; 2015/04/14, 0.5km;
2016/03/20, 0.5km;
2017/02/10, 3.4km

 
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Boconnoc Park Road
2013/09/25, 2.2km;
2014/04/16, 1.4km

Brooks Lookout
2013/09/28

Emu Flat Road
2013/12/12, 2.6km

Fitzgerald Road
2013/12/13, 1.0km

Hicks Road, Armagh
2013/10/17, 0.5km; 2013/12/15, 1.9km

Horrocks Highway – in conjuction with Lions
2013/11/12, Parking area 2.9km N of PO; 2013/11/14, 0.5km; 2013/11/22, 1.4km; 2013/11/27, 0.4km;
2014/01/09, 0.8km;
2017/02/11, 1.5km

Ingomar Road, Armagh
2013/09/20, 0.7km

Jacobs Range Road
2013/09/19, 2.2km;
2014/03/13, 2.2km

Kurang Road, Armagh
2013/09/21, 0.7km

McDonald Road
2014/02/23, 0.9km

Muanu Road
2013/09/19, 0.7km;
2014/03/13, 0.7km

Ohlmeyer Reserve
2017/07/30

Old Blyth Road
2013/09/14, 1.3km; 2013/10/17, 1.2km

Riesling Trail
2013/09/24, 1km;
2014/02/14, 0.6km; 2014/02/20, 3.4km; 2014/02/22, 1.2km; 2014/03/02, 1.2km; 2014/04/20, 2.5km

Scobie Road
2013/09/13 to 19th, 4.4km; 2014/03/13, 1.5km; 2014/04/16, 0.8km

Seven Sisters Road
2013/10/07, 1.2km
 
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Spring Gully Road
2013/09/19, 0.9km; 2013/10/07, 1.2km; 2013/12/03, 0.7km;
2014/03/13, 1.0km

St George's Terrace, Armagh
2013/09/21, 1.5km


 
On the road
On the road
Spring Gully Road, Clare Valley

SA Crystal Brook area

In the Crystal Brook area I have picked up roadside rubbish along the following roads:
Binney Road
2013/10/04, 1km;
2014/01/23, 1.75km; 2014/01/24, Builder's rubbish;
2015/04/13, 0.7km; 2015/07/09, 1.75km;
2017/06/26, 1.75km

Bowman Park Road (from Huddleston Road to Bowman Park)
2014/12/11, 1.4km

Bowman Street Extension
2014/04/25, 1.2km

Brook Park Lane (adjacent motorbike track)
2013/10/04, 1.6km;
2015/02/25, 1.6km; 2015/04/13, 1.6km;

Cattle Track (short-cut to Red Hill)
2015/07/09, 0.6km

Clements Road
2014/06/15, 1.9km

Crystal Brook bypass (Port Augusta road)
2015/07/31, 1.2km; 2015/08/01, 0.4km; 2015/08/02, 0.8km; 2015/08/11, 0.8km

Crystal Brook Valley Road (low road to Bowman Park)
2014/12/04, 2.2km;
2015/07/07, 0.8km

Darbon Terrace (western side of railway line)
2014/01/24, 0.5km

 
Ohlmeyer Reserve, Clare
On the road
Why would someone dump rubbish in a reserve when they could take it to the transfer station and dump it there free of charge?
2017/07/30
Frith Road (past the southern grain bunkers)
2013/10/04, 1km;
2015/02/25, 1km; 2015/04/13, 1km; 2015/07/06, 1.7km;
2017/06/25, 1km

Goulter Road (Nob's Hill)
2014/04/25, 0.8km;
2015/07/07, 0.8km

Goyder Highway; the highway from Gulnare through CB toward Port Pirie

Port Pirie side of town (past the northern grain bunkers)
2013/10/24, 0.8km;
2014/06/14, 0.8km; 2014/11/25, 0.8km;
2015/01/31, 0.6km (two bags in 1/2km!); 2015/02/01, 0.7km (another two bags); 2015/02/11, 0.4km; 2015/02/12, 0.5km; 2015/02/14, 0.4km; (finally got to the highway bypass – total 2.6km and about eight bags full!);
2015/07/31, 2.1km; (only 2 bags of rubbish)
2016/05/01, 1.0km; 2016/05/04, 1.0km;
2017/04/19, 0.5km; 2017/04/20, 0.4km;

Narridy side of town
2013/11/05, 0.5km;
2014/12/13, 1.0km;
2015/01/27, 0.8km; 2015/02/26, 1.5km; 2015/06/24, 1.5km;
2016/04/01, 0.8km; 2016/07/11, 0.8km;
2017/03/09, 1.4km

Huddleston Road (top road past cemetery toward Bowman Park and Gladstone)
2013/10/21, 1.3km; 2013/11/08, 1.1km;
2014/03/20, 0.7km; 2014/11/26, 1.7km; 2014/12/03, 1.5km;
2015/01/17, 1.0km; 2015/01/26, 1.7km; 2015/02/25, 2.4km; 2015/04/11, 0.9km; 2015/06/23, 1.0km; 2015/07/09, 1.0km; 2015/08/10, 1.2km;
2016/05/31, 1.2km; 2016/07/10, 0.9km; 2016/08/02, 1.3km;
2017/03/08, 2.2km; 2017/06/24, 2.2km; 2017/06/25, 1.0km

Hughes Gap Road (toward Laura and Beetaloo Valley)
2013/10/25, 0.8km;
2015/04/22, 1.0km; 2015/04/23, 0.9km
2016/08/03, 2.0km;
2017/06/12, 1.7km

 
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Mais Terrace (adjacent primary school)
2014/03/20, 0.3km; 2014/04/25, 0.3km

Showgrounds
2015/08/06, before annual show

Venning Road (Adelaide road south from Crystal Brook)
2014/07/17, 1.2km; 2014/11/15, 1.6km;
2015/01/28, 2.8km; 2015/04/12, 3.4km; 2015/05/13, 1.3km; 2015/11/06, 1.6km; 2015/11/07, 2.5km;
2016/03/16, 1.2km; 2016/07/11, 1.2km;
2017/03/07, 1.2km; 2017/06/15, 1.8km

Mandurah and WA generally

Serpentine River
In the Mandurah area I have picked up rubbish in the following areas: Greenfields parklands adjacent to the Serpentine, near the lagoon in the Falcon area, Pinjara near the river, around the Greenfields primary school and adjacent oval, (when I'm in the area visiting my daughter); various dates.

The photo on the right is of the Serpentine River in Mandurah; a beautiful area, partly spoiled by the rubbish that people dump.

Singapore

 
Rubbish
Near 5 Footway Inn, Project Bugis, where we stayed during a short holiday in March 2015.

There was a street sweeper who cleaned-up the footpaths and roadway near the hostel each morning, but there was a parking lot just across the street from the hostel and there were many cigarette butts and assorted rubbish – which I cleaned-up.

Singapore was not a dirty city, but neither was it a clean city. See a photographic record of a short visit to Singapore on another page on this site.

 
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Climate Walk

 
Picking up rubbish on the Midland Highway
Rubbish pick-up
2014/09/28
While walking from Melbourne to Canberra to push for climate change action our group picked up rubbish on many sections of roadside in Victoria and New South Wales.

I noticed that drink containers were a much greater proportion of the roadside rubbish in these two states than they were in South Australia. There is a refundable deposit on drink containers in SA, not in Victoria or NSW.

The walk took place between 2014/09/21 and 2014/10/21.

Coca Cola

Organisations such as Coca Cola are trying to stop an Australia-wide container deposit from being implimented.

You can object by squashing Coke cans flat, placing them in standard envelopes, and posting them to Coca Cola.



The Clare hills, 2005/09/27
Clare panorama
With climate change, how long will this scene remain as it is?


What can you do to help in the fight against climate change?

 
Young trees
You can plant trees, either on your own land or by getting involved with organisations like Trees For Life
The short answer is:
  • Press your representatives in both state and federal parliaments to take firm action;
  • Support renewable energy developments, especially local ones;
  • Get the message out on the social media of the Internet;
  • Write letters to newspapers;
  • Join or donate to organisations like:
  • Put solar PV panels and a solar water heater on your roof;
  • Drive less, drive a smaller car, drive more slowly, walk more, ride a bike.

The long answer is given on another page on this site.

 
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What type of rubbish do I find?

  • Paper and cardboard are probably the most common. (Paper and cardboard are biodegradable but they can be very unsightly and a lot of light cardboard packaging is now plastic coated to make it more shiney and eye-catching on the shelf).
  • Take-away food and drink containers are very common; including take-away coffee cups and their plastic lids; they should carry a refundable deposit.
  • Plastic packaging (including polyurethane foam) and wrapping is very common.
  • Refundable drink containers are fairly common; plainly a 10¢ deposit is not enough. (When 5¢ deposits were originally brought in, in 1977, 5¢ had the same buying power as 25¢ does today, in 2013.)
  • Rags are very common. (Those made of natural fibres are biodegradable, but synthetics are not, and how does one easily and quickly tell the difference?)
  • String, cord, bailer twine, rope, cable-ties.
  • Broken glass and ceramics
  • Cigarette packets (while the packets are biodegradable they contain metal foil which is not).
  • Metal foil is conspicuous and long-lasting.
  • Various pieces of metal
  • Pop-out pill trays (convenient but not at all environmentally friendly, being composed of both plastic and foil).
  • Broken white roadside marking posts are fairly common.
  • On unsealed roads there are quite a few bits that have broken or fallen off cars; hub-caps in particular.
  • Plastic drums and buckets – many of which may have blown out of the back of utes.
  • Occasionally I find tools.
Interestingly, wine bottles are rare.

Also see What to pick up?

 
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Throw-away cups

 
Rubbish from the roadside
Throw-away cups
I picked up this lot of rubbish on Gadd Avenue, just outside of Crystal Brook, 2017/03/07.
Note the high proportion of throw-away cups.
Most disposable cups are either made of plastic or are paper with a plastic lining; they are not environmentally friendly. Australians use about a billion disposable coffee cups each year and most end up in landfill – or worse, dumped on the roadside. I've spent many hours picking up roadside rubbish and disposable cups are one of the most common types of rubbish I find.

Most coffee shops and bakeries give you the option of a ceramic cup if you are having your coffee on-site or a disposable one if you are taking it away, but some only provide throw-away cups and mugs.

What should you do if you care for the environment? You can either refuse to take a disposable cup – go somewhere else if they can't provide a reusable one – or you could bring your own cup.

A responsible business will discourage, not encourage, the use of throw-away cups.

Local businesses that are irresponsible:

Clare Rise Bakery
Have only throw-away cups, whether you are eating in or taking away. Go a little further north to the Caltex roadhouse where you can get a ceramic mug, if you specifically ask for one.

Zest, Clare
Do have reusable cups and mugs, but will give iced coffee, juices, smoothies and milkshakes in throw-away mugs unless you insist on reusable.
I will add businesses to this list as I become aware of them. I look forward to being able to delete those who have lifted their game.

I see that France has banned disposable coffee cups, except those that are completely compostable. The ban is to come into force by 2020.

At least one type of disposable cup is compostible in commercial facilities, BioCup; if throw-away cups must be used, these would be better than those that are not bio-degradable. I have seen these in Western Australia, but not South Australia.

Alternatives to throw-away cups

 
Reusable mugs
Reusable mugs
Mugs such as these are well suited for take-away drinks; they are unbreakable, insulated and have lids.
Coffee drinkers who regularly get take-away coffee could take their own reusable cups into the coffee shop to be filled.

Coffee shops that want to be environmentally responsible could encourage people to bring in their own cups; for example they could display a sign explaining the implications of throw-away cups. They could also provide reusable take-away cups, such as those in the photo, for sale.

 
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Climate change

 
Record temperatures
Temperatures in Australia
Highest temperatures on record in a large part of Australia
It happened that the 5th report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was released in late September 2013, soon after I started on this project. The report stated that there is very little doubt that the climate is changing and that this is largely caused by Man's activities.

A few days later, in early October 2013 the Australian Bureau of Meteorology produced the map on the right, showing that almost all of the state of South Australia, and a substantial part of the whole nation, had its hottest year on record from the beginning of October 2012 to the end of September 2013. Higher temperatures, and predicted lower rainfalls, will of course have negative impacts on agriculture and on our native flora and fauna.

Why accept climate science?

More on climate change.

 
Wind damage in faber bean crop
Bean crop damaged by extreme wind
At Crystal Brook, SA.
See text
Again, shortly after I started on this project, Mid North South Australia, where I live, experienced exceptional and damaging winds on September 30th and October 2nd 2013. The photograph at the right shows damage to one of the many bean crops in the region.

Climatologists forecast that severe weather events are likely to become more common as climate change advances.

Ironically, adverse impact on agriculture from a wind farm development has been used by at least one wind farm opposition group as justification for its activities, but climate change will have an incomparably greater adverse impact on agriculture than any wind farm.

 
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Paper bags and wrapping

 
Paper bags and wrappers
Paper
Brown paper would be less conspicuous
Paper is, of course, made of plant material, is mainly celulose and rots down to form harmless compost, just like fallen leaves and twigs.

These paper bags and wrappers (with many others) were picked up on a roadside near Crystal Brook on 2015/04/23.

The two marked Balfours and Vili's were bags for pies, pasties, cakes etc. The Subway one was a wrapper from a bread roll.

Irresponsible people throw this sort of thing out of cars; that is a fact of life at present.

Being bleached white paper these bags and wrappers are conspicuous and unsightly; if they were unbleached or brown paper they would be much less so.

I have suggested to these three businesses that they change their packaging.

 
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Councils

As of late 2013 I have been working in the council districts of Port Pirie Regional Council (PPC) and Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council (CGC).

Around October I contacted PPC asking about disposal of the rubbish that I collect. On 2013/12/16 I received a phone call from Kevin Browne of PPC telling me that I would be able to dispose of the rubbish I collect at no cost to me.

I have sent similar requests to CGC, but have never had a reply.

 
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Links

 
Alligator Gorge Xanthorrhoea (a.k.a. yacka).
Yacka in Alligator Gorge
Alligator Gorge is in the Southern Flinders Ranges of SA. At the time the photo was taken, 2013/03/22, the vegetation there has suffered from recent exceptionally hot, long and dry summers.
Some other sites relating to action on climate change:

Climate Action Network Australia

Australian Youth Climate Coalition

Yes 2 Renewables

The CORENA fund aims to fund renewable energy installations on Australian roofs.

Friends of the Earth push for an environmentally sustainable future.

Australian Conservation Foundation

Climate and Health Alliance

Doctors for the Environment Australia

Of course there are far too many for me to list here; there is a big list on the Climate Action Network site.


Information on climate change (Australia):

CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

Bureau of Meteorology Climate change and variability

The Climate Council is to take over the work of the Climate Commission, which the Abbott Government closed down because they don't want Australians to know the facts on climate change.


Some other pages on this site that are related:

Climate change from a global perspective and from an Australian perspective. Ocean acidification.

Why accept climate science?

A million-step walk for climate action

Greatest crime in the history of humanity; to intentionally lie and distort the facts in support of the coal industry and to oppose the development of renewable energy; especially from a position of authority.

Killer coal; an industry that kills millions of people world-wide each year and is one of the main causes of climate change and ocean acidification.

The Australian Liberal party's war on renewable energy, the Abbott Government and Turnbull Government.

Why you should support wind power

Why I support the local wind farm

What should be done






Index

Clare area
Climate Walk
Crystal Brook area
Climate change
Councils
Introduction
Link: roadsides and atmosphere
Links
Mandurah
Paper bags and wrapping
Singapore
Top
Throw-away cups
Type of rubbish
What can you do?
Where have I been?
What to pick up?


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