Here at Zero Waste Heroes, we have been watching Wayne Dixon‘s progress for a few months now. Wayne started his 7000 miles trip round the coast of Britain with his dog Koda on the first of February of this year, setting off from Knott-end-on-Sea, Lancashire. Originally his intention was to raise money for 2 charities which are close to his heart: MIND which aims to help people through mental health difficulties and the Northern Inuit rescue society (Koda is a Northern Inuit). You can donate to Wayne’s charities by clicking on their name in this post.
Wayne was always concerned about the litter problem, but as he was training for his walk, it soon became clear to him that he had to do something about it. So he decided to pick litter whilst on his travels. But even that wasn’t enough for Wayne, as he soon realised that the places he had cleaned up would get littered again very quickly. Awareness raising had to be part of the picture.
Since reaching South Kintyre, Wayne has picked up many bags of rubbish, and spoken to even more people. The rubbish is found mostly along roads, in particular on the way out of towns and villages. The people, he reaches by giving talks in schools (so far he has spoken to the children of Carradale school, Castlehill and Southend), doing organised litter picks (have a look round Trench point and notice how clean it is, thanks to Wayne and the P6 pupils of Castlehill school), speaking on the radio (thank you Argyll FM for welcoming Wayne and Koda not once, but twice. You can hear a large extract of Wayne’s Trash Talk appearance here) and talking to local papers. And of course, there are many casual encounters along the way. Wayne is very approachable, and Koda very well behaved, and a great talking point. Many stop for a chat and some offer Wayne some form of help on his adventure: a coffee, a place to pitch his tent, a bed for the night, or help with picking litter. Many more set off again on their way, inspired to look after their environment better.
Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to try and clean up our beautiful corner of the earth, but if someone comes and does it, it seems much more feasible to keep it litter free. Taking two years out to clean up the country is not for everyone, but we can all play a part in making our environment better. Instead of walking past a piece of litter, it only takes a second to pick it up. It is also everyone’s responsibility to report any fly tipping or ‘grott spots’ to the council.
Next time you are at the beach with the children, why not make a game of it, and see how much litter you can collect in 5 minutes? Zero Waste Heroes can lend you litter pickers and bag hoops, just call in to the shop any morning.
The benefits of cleaning up are multiple. As Wayne explains, it is good for our mental health to live in a clean environment. It is also safer for our children, pets and wildlife. And think how much more welcoming it is for visitors to the area. They are much more likely to come back if we look after and care for the place. And of course, littering is less likely to happen in a clean place.
Thank you very much Wayne and Koda for getting us started on our journey to a clean South Kintyre!