The Beira Lake, off Darley Road. I think they’ve cleaned it up since.
Yesterday when I was going home by bus, there was one lady and I saw that she was staking out something from her handbag and dropping them in to the floor. And then only I figured out that she was just cleaning her hand bag. She was taking out all the rubbish like old bus tickets from her bag and removes them by just putting on the floor. The first thing that came into my mind was that doesn’t this person has any sense that what she was doing was wrong? Would she do the same thing inside her own vehicle or inside her home? But I thought that this is one more example of our lack of self-discipline in public places.
My experience with this is the canal near my house. As many times as they dredge it, people keep throwing plastic bags and God knows what else in. This is a somewhat extreme digression, but this reminds me of Burning Man. Not that I’ve been, but I did just read this article.
Among the guiding principles of Burning Man is that participants must “leave no trace.” This means, somewhat counterintuitively, that there are no garbage cans in any of the public spaces. You are expected to pack out of the desert any waste you create that hasn’t come from inside your body.
Folks are serious about this. Cultural norms get enforced. People shout “MOOP!”—meaning “Matter Out Of Place”—whenever someone drops a glowstick or a set of fuzzy bunny ears on the ground.
This practice had profound effects on the way I viewed things like product packaging. Tearing open a granola bar for a snack while you’re out wandering past 70-foot-long praying mantis sculptures means stuffing the empty wrapper in your backpack, bringing it back to your camp site, and eventually lugging it out with all your other trash inside your car trunk. Whenever anyone offered me beer I was of course grateful—but I also couldn’t help but contemplate the fact that I’d need to crush the empty cans and tote them around in my pack all day. Even an apple core became an enemy. (Slate)
So, anyways, Sivraga goes on to wonder how this process will change. There are a couple models, one is Singapore, where they cane or fine the shit out of you. Another is where people get educated up to a point that they treat their environment better. Or a bit of both, as it usually goes. He mentions education, which I think helps a great deal, especially in influencing adult behavior.
I was talking to an older professor who did work in the villages and he said the best intervention he saw was when kids started to lobby their own fathers to stop drinking. He said that worked. In the same way, kids can learn values that A) become normal in the next generation and B) have an affect on the current one. However, I don’t know how much the current education system is teaching this, or to what depth. Every kid knows to turn over coconuts to prevent dengue, but it’s a bit more of that.