Sunday, 18 January 2015

Training for Rome Marathon (for real this time)

Week 1 Day 6

 Rest day. I wrestled with the idea for a while, thinking that I really should head out there, get some distance into my legs. But yesterday was so slow, I got nothing done. Slept most of the day away. I felt I wanted to do something more today, and not feel so completely wiped out.

So I filed the idea of a short run and ignored the voice in my head that told me that I should get my butt to gym – do some swimming, maybe, or some abs, at least.

Instead, I positioned myself on the couch with my book, a real weepy, Me before you by Jojo Moyes, and stayed there for the day. Yes, yes, I had other options. There was Open Streets going on in Cape Town where, according to Facebook, everyone in the city had gone to. All the more reason for me not to go, I thought. There was a ton of cleaning that I could have done, but that seemed like a highly unattractive option. And then there was the garden … my poor garden that really needs some love and attention after the painters, tilers and (especially) the carpenters had destroyed it. It’s slowly coming back to life and I figured it would be fine on its own for one more day.

So a rest day it was. Awesomely wonderful rest day. I moved only to make some tea from time to time and a veg burger for lunch.

Sam and Max enjoying rest day

Sam and Max enjoying rest day

And then we walked the dogs. Lordy. That’s a workout. Walking my Sam who is uncontrollable for the first 30 minutes of his walk while Max tries desperately to keep up on his little stumpy legs.

Walking Sam and Max - staying on your feet is a workout in itself

Walking Sam and Max – staying on your feet is a workout in itself

 

I picked up 20 bottle tops on my walk. Twenty six the other evening. That’s 46 plastic bottle tops that won’t end up in the sea and, ultimately, in the stomach of some poor animal, causing it to die a slow and torturous death.

All plastic eventually ends up in the sea and it never goes away. Animals get caught up in it or mistake it for food and eat it. Plastic is killing animal life.

All plastic eventually ends up in the sea and it never goes away. Animals get caught up in it or mistake it for food and eat it. Plastic is killing animal life. (Image from http://radicalmycology.com/tag/plastic/)

 Yes, I know, 46 plastic bottle tops is nothing in an ocean of plastic soup. It doesn’t even begin to make a difference. Even if I picked up 20 bottle tops a day, seven days a week, for a year, i.e. 7 300 bottle tops, it would still not make a dent in the churning mass of plastic destruction we’ve created. A mess that will never go away – not ever, because plastic never goes away – but will just get bigger and bigger with each passing day.

Oceans of plastic soup, growing bigger and bigger each day.

Oceans of plastic soup, growing bigger and bigger each day. (Image from http://www.stiksoep.nl/en/)

 

But what if I wasn’t the only crazy walking around picking up bottle tops every time she goes for a walk? What if more people cared? What if more people lived a little bit more consciously? What if every person picked up three bottle tops every time they went out for a walk? Say 1 million people pick up three bottle tops a day for one year. That’s 365 000 000 bottle tops a year. That certainly makes a much bigger difference than my lone, meagre effort. 

 

You can pick up other stuff, of course, like plastic bags, glass bottles, discarded Crocs. But bottle tops are easy. They’re small, so they’re not cumbersome to carry. There really is no excuse not to pick up three bottle tops during the course of a stroll along the beach or through the forest. It’s an easy thing to do, and if everybody did it, it could maybe make a difference. And they’re plentiful. They are everywhere you look. 

Did you know that bottle tops are the second most littered item, after cigarette butts? And did you know that many major cities don’t accept them for recycling? And did you know that many major cities don’t accept them for recycling

Can you be sure that one of these bottle caps is not one of yours?

Can you be sure that one of these bottle caps is not one of yours? (Image sourced from http://www.takepart.com/photos/bird-stomachs/golf-ball)

 

We could, of course, make a far greater difference by avoiding plastic as much as possible, by changing our lifestyles, by making an effort to step away from this crazy throwaway philosophy we have adopted. Plastic spoons and forks that we use once and then throw away – not because they’re broken and can’t be used again, but simply because they were made to be used once and thrown away. What the hell?! How crazy is that? 

problem-with-plastic-bottles/)

 

And those Loom band – man, I hate those little things! They are the embodiment of our wasteful society. Yes, yes, fine motor skills and all that. Rubbish! The Looms are rubbish and the idea that only Looms can teach kids fine motor skills and creativity is rubbish. Lots of things can teach kids fine motor skills while they learn to be creative and expressive – generations of creative thinkers grew up without Loom bands.

 

Those teeny elastic bands are a fad. And, like all fads, kids will lose interest in them after a few weeks. Anything that is cheap and abundant is treated carelessly. So what if you drop a handful of bands on the ground? You have plenty more. I picked up a bunch of them lying on the pavement the other day. It pissed me off no end that someone had dropped them and just kept on moving. Sure, it’s on the pavement. Sure, the street sweepers will pick them up.

A handful of discarded Loom bands picked up off the pavement.

A handful of discarded Loom bands picked up off the pavement.

 

Or maybe they won’t.

 

Maybe – and this is more likely to happen – they will get washed into the gutter (probably by the guy who loves to waste litres and litres of water while meditatively hosing down the pavement), then they will be washed into the sea and then they will make their way into the stomach of an animal.

 

I’m not the only one who thinks this fad’s days should be numbered before it numbers our days. This article discusses the potential impact of Loom bands on the environment. 

Take a look at the Responsible Runners‘ website. They’re a group of runners in Australia who don’t feel embarrassed about walking about, picking up other people’s trash. We should all be responsible runners and walkers. Pick up three things – go on! You know you want to!

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