Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pyramids, Litter, and Peripatetic Pickup

Visoko, Bosnia
October 4, 2011

I went out to pick up litter on a rural road in Visoko, Bosnia, today.  (Watch video here :)

The road -- a meandering one-laner -- is beautiful even with litter along its edges.

The road is not just beautiful but useful for those who want to get to Ravne tunnel labyrinth. It's the back way, and you use it to escape the traffic and noise pollution of the village below.

Visoko, Bosnia

Immediately on beginning my walk up the road, I met Salija.


Salija said that the litter along the side of the road is thrown there by people from the "city." I assumed she meant Sarajevo, 30 kilometers south of Visoko. But upon inquiry, she said that she meant people from Visoko, the center of which is a ten-minute walk from the hillside. 

Salija said that the city people "don't save the environment."


Salija's English was very good, so I didn't have to speak Bosnian, which was good since I know perhaps 27 words of Bosanski. . . .

Salija headed home along the rural road, and I returned to the task at hand.
Tools of the trade: leather gloves

Leather gloves are the most important tools for the litter remover. Without leather gloves, you are at the mercy of broken glass, slime, and nettles.

Super-strong Trader Joe's bag for collecting litter

A good bag is tool-of-the-trade #2 for Litter Removal Specialists. With leather gloves and a bag, there is so much one can do.
The ancients who built the pyramids in the Visoko Valley created structures in agreement with nature. Their materials were sand, stone, and clay.

Ancient terrace on the Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon

Modern civilization, on the other hand, gives us colors out of place, strange materials, unhealthy products wrapped in disharmonic packaging, jarring artifice.  

Modern litter

What will we do about it?

Some litter likes to hide
Grandfather and granddaughter along the road

A willing photographic subject
Charming couple with slightly more English than I had Bosnian
Probably the best beer in Bosnia, but not the best beer in Europe

Nearly full bag, after a kilometer and a third of road
End of the day

Watch 6-part video here

Watch the wonderful story of Bagpuss here.


Anonymous said...

That's so nice of you... A lot of Bosnians, and other peoples of this world have a very casual view on throwing their trash directly into the surrounding environment. They say "Everyone does it, it doesn't make a difference." I always tell them that it does mater.

Jock Doubleday said...

It's such a pleasure to spend time restoring nature to its original beauty.

A video of the project is coming soon:

I wonder if the city of Visoko might be interested in an annual "Litter Reclamation Day" . . .

Thanks for your comment!


The Green Bard said...

Unfortunately the littering of the countryside is on the increase here in Tenerife too. It is such a great shame that people do this! A great report you have blogged here!

Jock Doubleday said...

Thanks, Steve. Liz and I went back four days later and picked up another two bags full on the same street I'd cleaned! Amazing that people don't love the beauty of nature along the sides of their roads enough to keep them clean. I remember in Jamaica I spent a few hours picking up broken glass on a beach, and it made me feel wonderful! And then there was the added benefit that I could run barefoot on it. :) I love that you have documented the encroachment of plastics on the beaches there in the Canaries. Your video could be the start of a significant eco-movement in the Islands.

geopathic-tomography said...

Electrical voltage of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun is 49 milivolts