It’s not far from the office park where I work to the local shops, enough for a lunchtime constitutional, or a run to the nearby metropolis of Cross Gates. It’s not exactly a beautiful part of the city, but it’s Yorkshire, so it’s better than most. There’s only one thing to spoil it and that’s litter.
Where the hell does it all come from? Why are sandwich wrappers, plastic bottle and bags of dog poo strewn across the neat verges, within throwing distance of the many litter bins the council has strapped to lamp posts? Who walks their dog around an office park anyway?
It all came to a head when I came a cropper tripping over to Sainsbury’s for a packet of chocolate teacakes to see us through our team meeting. I was multitasking, striding ahead and phoning home to make sure Noel was getting on with his tasks, he always appreciates my input into his day, when my foot slipped and I was airborne. Before I knew it, I was no longer airborne, I had landed in the hedge, next to a half-eaten egg and cress sandwich and a sparrow-pecked bourborn biscuit. It felt like I was seated on a privet throne, surveying my subjects who seemed rather surprised to see me there, though not as surprised as I was.
To the distant calls of Noel’s ‘hello?’, ‘hello?’, I found myself being helped from the hedge, which, you’ll be pleased to hear, was undamaged, and set back on my feet. I’d slipped on an elephant-sized pile of dog poo, and fortunately missed any further mess when the hedge broke my fall. The same couldn’t be said of my phone, it was sitting in the poo. It’s the only time I’ve been grateful for litter, because there were a couple of paper towels blowing in the wind, so I used them to clean up the phone and reply to Noel, who was first sympathetic and them amused, well, who wouldn’t be?
At work we’ve all been encouraged to make a pledge to be green, that’s in the environmental, not Hulk sense. My pledge is to pick up one piece of litter every time I head to the office, following the campaign currently being run by Leeds City Council. The idea being that if everyone picked up just one piece of litter, we’d be litter free in no time. I’m really happy to to that, though I have added a caveat, I’ll pick up any litter and put it in the nearby bin, but the dog poo stays where it is, even if it is still in the bag (ewwww).