Cleanliness is the key to healthy living

It really breaks my heart when I see rubbish being dumped in public places. I pity nature. What has it done to deserve all the garbage? Look at these picture I took when visiting places that are being promoted to tourists as places to visit:

kuala selangor, on the way to de palma hotel.
This picture was taken at Kota Tanjung Keramat, Kuala Selangor.

lata jarum
This one was taken at Lata Jarum, Raub, Pahang.

It’s pity that it also effects our tourism industry.

Is it very hard to take those garbage with you and then throw them away in a proper place? There were few times when I visited our coastal beaches, I had to clean the area to be able to put my things down on the sand. There were diapers, drink cans, junk food plastics, fast food boxes and many more. People look at me like I was a street cleaner, but I don’t really care. If I go for a picnic, I always take care of my garbage. I keep them in a rubbish bag and throw them away in a bin nearby. If the bin is full or if I could not find any, I take them home and dump it in my garbage bin. I know that the garbage will be picked up safely three times a week by the waste management company assigned by the local authority.

This kind of situation makes me want to compare our state of cleanliness with other countries. I take Cape Town for example. When I visited the town last July, I was so amazed by the cleanliness of the city and pointed it out to the driver who took my husband and I to the hotel on our first day of arrival. He told us that besides keeping the town clean to boost their economic industry, most of the locals make ends meet from waste picking.

walking on clean street
Me enjoying a walk on a clean street while trying to get close to the birds.

From a local English newspaper that I read at the hotel, I found out that some 88,000 South Africans now live this way. The article was written by Wiseman Khuzwayo and he reported that waste picking offered individuals a means to make a living regardless of  age, level of education or skills set.  The article also said that the waste industry is estimated to be worth R10 billion. The reason waste-pickers are there is clear. A lot of recyclable and reusable waste is entering the waste stream due to South Africa’s current waste disposal strategies. The waste is valuable and if reclaimed, can earn collectors up to R120 per day.

not a speck of dust
Not a speck of dust. See how clean it is?

Many waste pickers in South Africa have evolved into entrepreneurs by finding creative ways to reuse waste, such as building dog kennels out of discarded wood or potting and reselling discarded plants. Waste pickers even has their own association, SA Waste Pickers Association.

Now, that is what I call a creative and effective way to keep our country clean and on the side, giving chance to unemployed people to earn descent money. I wish to see this effort being set-up here in Malaysia and hopefully to keep beggars out of the streets.

a very clean square
a very clean square.

Although Cape Town is not in the Top Most Cleanest Cities, I hope it will be soon. For your information, here are some of the Top Most Cleanest Cities:

1. Calgary, Canada
2. Honolulu, US
3. Helsinki, Finland
4. Ottawa, Canada

And let’s make our way to the list, if not Top 5, at least Top 100.

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