One thing that concerned me whilst I was in Paxos, in between scooting up and down on the jet skis and zooming from bay to bay on the boat. I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that all of this was contributing to the pollution of our huge but delicate world. My guilt wasn’t much reduced by the thought that none of it was my choice, thus not my doing, because the family I work for were the ones making these decisions to use the fuel etc. I was still involved and had to figure out a way that I could make up for the fuel consumption which wouldn’t involve being a preachy nuisance and trying to change their way of doing things!
So I made it a game!
If we were on the jet ski, or using the boats, I began a competition with the kids that they should stop and pick up any litter that they see in the sea. This became somewhat of a competition where the little ones had fun whilst cleaning the worlds oceans! It isn’t a direct exchange – fossil fuels and litter – but we have all seen the horrible photos of where some litter ends up and can harm wildlife, and we all know basically that it is bad! And it doesn’t make me feel good about pollution from these outlets of leisure and luxury, but it made it a little better to know that you are consciously doing some good! It was also a fun way to introduce the youngsters to the issues of litter in the world and start to getting them into the habit of respecting the environment – much more fun than following them around the house turning all of the lights off after them and repeating the same thing to them about why its important to conserve energy!
I am always trying to find simple things to do that might make a difference, and soon it becomes habit! After this game caught on I was so in the habit of it that I would stop the car to pick up rubbish if I saw any on the sides of the road! (I’ll admit that this was a little more boring for the kids who were impatient to go and get gelato!). Even now that I am back in Venice I am still in this habit and pick up any litter I see before it makes its way into the canals. It puts no one out of their way to find the nearest bin or recycling point. Try it!