Little Miss Green recycles litter

Filed in Blog by on July 1, 2009 12 Comments
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213gms of litter collected by Little Miss Green

213gms of litter collected by Little Miss Green

On Sunday Little Miss Green asked for a pair of rubber gloves and a carrier bag. She decided she was going to go litter picking.

Off she went on her own, to the sound of jeering from the other children. It was sad to hear them making fun of her when they asked her what she was doing. But she was not deterred from her mission and answered any questions they had matter-of-fact.

I asked her what prompted her litter pick. She told me she had been out playing and noticed the amount of litter out there. She was worried about animals getting injured by the litter on the pavement, so decided to gather it up.

Later on she came in and asked us to go for a walk with her so she could gather more items.

When we got back, she weighed it all and had collected 213 grams of waste.

Mr Green and I decided to reward her efforts by turning grams into pennies, so she is now £2.13 better off.

She didn’t do it for money, she did it because, to her, it was the right thing to do and we’re so proud of her.

We didn’t suggest it to her or organise anything; she just saw something that needed doing, and dealt with it. Instead of passing over responsibility or adopting a ‘blame’ attitude, she  donned her rubber gloves and did the job. When I asked her ‘Most people look at litter and say ‘I didn’t drop it, it’s nothing to do with me’; why didn’t you think like that?’ She replied “I just love mother nature so much. I knew she would be pleased with me if I picked up the litter, so I did it.”

Here’s a short clip of her on her litter picking mission:


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (12)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Bill Bryson has been higlighting litter in England, though the whole UK is affected. His campaign has been running for a couple of years, with some media coverage. It is topical though an unusual activity for individuals, particularly in appropriate dress. The video showed a busy road and there is bound to be a lot of vehicle thrown litter is such places. This is difficult to eradicate since it can be done unseen. To that extent it is a thankless and recurring task, but clean roadsides may attract less litter.

    LMG did well to cover the issue which is for the healthy of all ages. Contact with Bill Bryson may prove fruitful for both.

    From the Zero Waste perspective, ownership of waste is essential. Therefore litter is not an option.

  2. Well Done to LMG for her forward thinking and not being deterred by mindless heckling from her peers.

  3. Grandma Green says:

    Well done LMG! We used to pick up litter like that on your local playing field when you were one and two years old: you would trudge to and from the one litter biin dozens of times during our visit to the swings. Your big bag makes the task a lot easier and I love the turquoise gauntlets. So cool!

    Never take notice of people who laugh at you for doing the right thing. They don’t yet understand what is important in life. I’m sure Mother Nature is proud of you. So are Grandma and Granddad Green.

  4. Layla says:

    Aww, she’s awesome!! 🙂

    As for the other kids, can they be inspired to join in the fun? 😉

    Once the kiddies of the street were quarreling whose turn it was on the swing (it can’t hold more than 5 kids safely, I think) & I distracted ’em with: ‘WOW! Look what I found!!’ (& then I had to very quickly think of something!) first it was a flower, & a leaf, then something that did not belong there, & then we cleaned the river bank, & they asked & wanted to do it again! 🙂

  5. Deb from Boston says:

    Wow – you must be really proud of LMG! And I’m sure once you returned home, you didn’t even need to suggest to her that she should sort it for what could be recycled.
    Please promise not to fret about the added weight this will add to your weekly weigh in – the good deed certainly “out weighs” missing a goal.

  6. What an inspirational quote: “I just love mother nature so much. I knew she would be pleased with me if I picked up the litter, so I did it.”

    That almost makes me want to cry! And here I am at work, all tearing up. Thanks for the sweet interlude to the day.

  7. Little Miss Green would love our recycling club at school, where every week the children come with me to do a litter pick around the school grounds. It’s amazing how much rubbish we collect that’s been blown in on the wind AND none of the kids laugh at those who do it, Most of them want to join in. I am really beginning to wonder if we were separated at “rebirth” so to speak…only last week I picked up two plastic bottles and a catalogue out of a hedge to bring home for recycling.

    Go Little Miss Green, you’re a superstar 😀 x

  8. Poppy says:

    Master P and I help with a local litter pick in a park. Although the amount of general litter collected appears to have reduced since we started, some of the dumped items just leave us totally amazed. The apparent effort involved in getting them to where we find them, is truely astounding. Little Miss G would need a far bigger bag and probably a skip and lorry 🙁

    I have also set myself the task of collecting at least one item everytime I take the dog for a walk. If it’s a recyclable item, I bring it home, otherwise it goes in the bins ( yes folks, there are bins out there!! Grrr!!)

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John, brilliant idea – I contacted him yesterday through the CPRE – thank you!

    @maisie dalziel: Thanks Maisie and thanks for the gift – she was really touched 😉

    @Grandma Green: I will have to remind her about the litter picking at the playing field; I remember it too and I wonder if she does 🙂

    @Layla: Hi Layla, when we went out there, one or two of them starting giving her bits for her bag or pointing out the litter to them 😉

    @Deb from Boston: Hi Deb, we are going to sort through and recycle it; at the moment it is in the garage, To be honest, we are not going to use this as part of our own weigh in; when we next pass the recycling centre, we will take it with us and not include in our own weekly waste.

    @SavvyChristine: Awww, Christine; she makes me cry too. Yesterday evening we had a funeral for a bumble bee and I had tears dripping off the end of my chin 🙁

    @Almost Mrs Average: I like the idea of your recycle club, Mrs A. And you’re right; you two have an uncanny amount of ideas / mannerisms in common LOL!

    @Poppy: Well done Popsicle; you and Master P are doing an amazing job. What a great idea about picking up one item when you walk the dog too. That’s excellent; it’s incredible how lazy some people are 🙁

  10. Sarah says:

    Little Miss Green I think I love you! Well done young lady, I’m very impressed. Now how to get the other kids joining in instead of jeering.

  11. Denise says:

    Thats my girl, great going LMG.
    Big love heading your way xxx

  12. Mrs Green says:

    @Sarah: Thanks Sarah; maybe she has planted seeds; who knows?!

    @Denise: Lovely to see you Denise. She’s enveloped in your love from dawn to dusk 🙂

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