Photo by armin djuhic on Unsplash

I’ve mentioned in one of my recent posts that I’ve recently spent two months in Germany, avoiding travelling during the high of the COVID-19 outbreak. Germany has always been a land of milk and honey for me – ever since secondary school was I dreaming about going there, and maybe even living there. My life path has led me to Switzerland instead. However, I am still a frequent visitor, and I always cherish particular affection for Germany deep in my heart.

I used the time spent in Germany to explore the country a bit – not as a traveller, but as an inhabitant. I discovered a lot of issues which are different from what I am used to, starting with waste sorting right through the deficiencies of internet coverage up to the food range in grocery shops. I might decide to dedicate a separate blog post to detail the differences between both countries. However, there is one thing that frustrated me the most in Germany – people leaving their trash lying around. 

It is an early sunny Saturday morning, and we are up for a walk before breakfast. All those home-offices do not do any good to my body, and this is my conscious effort to keep me physically active. Where to? Wartberg will do. It’s great for a few hours to walk among the wine fields, and it is also enough out of the city to give a feeling of real outdoors. 

Up we go. OK, we drive out of the city and then go trekking :). 

The walking roads amidst the wine fields leading to the restaurant Wartberg are convenient, I can walk there for hours. Especially in early autumn, when the colours of the wine fields start changing, and it all looks. But it is spring, and I notice some of the vines have already sprouted leaves – they are in a very light shade of green, almost transparent. There are also benches thoughtfully dropped here and there – you can sit there while resting your feet (going uphills is not my favourite way of walking). Or you can relax and watch birds and butterflies zooming around us in the air. Or meditate looking at the city under your feet. 

Our first attempt to take a seat turns unsuccessful. The bench is covered with what seems to be the rests of someone’s nightly dinner party. Plastic bottles, Grant’s Scotch bottle, wrappings and papers from McDonald’s – the are all over the place. All flavoured by stubs. Does not fit my naively optimistic morning mood, so we move further. 

The truth is, it took us a while to find a bench that would be clean enough to invite us to enjoy the view from it. And we have faced the same issue next time we went for a walk there. 

But it is not only the faraway places that are covered with litter and not only in the mornings. Unfortunately, also in the city, the cleanliness is wanting. It makes me sad, and it makes the whole experience of being outside an unpleasant one. It made me wonder – why do people litter?

I mean – if you live in a city and you have a few favourite spots to spend your time at – would you be happy to see them covered in the litter? Would you want to sit right next to somebody’s empty RedBull can?

Let’s keep our surroundings clean, please. It is for our own benefit, in the end. It is easy – one just have to decide to care.