In Japan they segregate their trash from 10 to 44 categories.

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Waste bins in Japan have categories of 10-44. This includes bottle caps.

and we can’t even put ours in one trash bin.

I have been to Japan and I stand witness to the clean streets of Tokyo, Ichikawa and other cities. How and what were the questions that came to mind when I saw how they maintained their surroundings. Coming from the Philippines, you can only imagine the shock and awe the cities of Japan had on me.

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The Japanese Crowd Cleaning the stadium in the 2014 World Cup Match.

If you can remember back in June of 2014, something happened that astounded the world, after the World Cup Soccer Match, the Japanese crowd started cleaning up. It spread like wild fire over the social network. This may have been a surprise to the rest of the world but for the Japanese people it’s just normal that they clean up after themselves. It was simply habit, part of their culture.

If we want to change the world around us, we can start by picking up litter, even those that aren’t ours to begin with

Here are the top reasons for picking up any kind of litter you see on the streets:

  1. We can stop blaming the government and start acting ourselves.
  2. You can inspire others by doing so.
  3. It’s good exercise.
  4. Provide a good example for the kids to follow.
  5. Get more self-respect for you and your environment
  6. You can help prevent flooding, that bottle that you picked up may be that one bottle that clogs up the whole sewage system of Manila the next time it rains hard.
  7. You can save someone from injury, that piece of litter may injure someone on the streets.

Would you ever allow a guest at your house do the cleaning? Of course not!

Why would we ever allow anyone else to do the cleaning in our own yard. What this Japanese man is doing should be a wake up call to all of us Filipinos.

Waiting for someone else to clean our home, it’s a little embarrassing don’t you think? We keep waiting on our government and other countries to start acting.

You may think you will look like fool for picking up random trash you see in the streets, and it may not do something now, but it will definitely not be in vain. Your single action can inspire someone to do the same, and before you know it, everyone’s picking up litter.

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MMDA leads a clean up campaign last 2014

Still don’t believe me? Take this for example, Back in 2011 the City of Manila was estimated to produce 8,400 to 8,600 tons of trash each day, and the whole city has 1,700,000 people in it. If we each pick up 5 kilograms of trash each day, there would be none left!

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Back in 2011 the City of Manila produced 8,400-8,600 tons of trash a day according to DENR

It may not happen overnight, it may take years before it happens. But every journey begins with a single step, and what better time to start than now?

Pointing fingers on each other and waiting for someone to save us just won’t work. It may be a small and simple thing to do, but if it becomes a habit, part of our culture, then we can definitely change our world.

Next time a piece of candy wrapper or an empty bottle comes our way, we can ask ourselves, how much would it really cost me to pick this up? Then you will realize that it costs nothing compared to what it can give you.

Can you suggest other simple things we could do to change the world around us? Share it to us in the comments section below! 

Image sources:

  • cdn1.collective-evolution.com
  • img.rt.com/
  • newsinfo.inquirer.net/
  • http://images.gmanews.tv/