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Opinions

New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea

April 16, 2014
2 min read
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea
New Year’s Garbage, From Sea To Shining Caspian Sea

Zohreh Moshtaghi, Citizen-Reporter

The Iranian calendar year starts with the spring equinox, so not only does nature renews itself but people embark on holiday trips and outingsto rejuvenate themselves as well. But for a long time now these same merry outings have turned into a plague on nature. The new-year travelers leave behind an inordinate amount of garbage in wildlife areas or around historical sites before returning to their urban lives.

During the holidays, like many of my fellow citizens, I travelled from north to south to enjoy parts of the country I don’t usually visit, but what grabbed my attention everywhere was not the rebirth of nature but the garbage that travelers had scattered about. With some patience and compassion they could have found better places, like trash cans. The pictures that I took and that you see here prove the point.

Two things were obvious. First, people use too much throwaway plastic containers and utensils. Second, there is hardly a place in a country as vast as Iran which has not been occupied by garbage, especially by plastic garbage.

Environmental experts say that plastic containers such as mineral water and soda bottles, chips and biscuit wrappers, and so on, take from 400 to 800 years to break down and return to nature. As a result they inflict long-lasting damage to th environment.

In recent years environmental education in Iran has improve, but a considerable number of people leave their garbage at the scene of their fun-making, especially when they are traveling during carefree times of year like the Norouz holidays. We should mention, of course, that in certain locations like tourist attractions and historical sites, the custodians quick to gather the garbage left behind by travelers but in other locations like forests, mountain trails and river banks—in other words, where nature is the attraction—there is nobody to clean the garbage. It remains where it is and after a while it turns a beautiful natural scenery into a garbage dump.

This new year, according to media reports and postings on social networks, local people in some towns and villages have taken the matter into their own hands by organizing activities to clean up the mess left behind by sightseers or by preventing them from littering in the first place. For example some environmentally conscious people distributed garbage bags among visitors and asked them to carry off their garbage when they were done enjoying their trip.

The road to universal love for the environment, however, is going to be a long one. We don’t know how many more new years should come and go before caring for the environment becomes a national practice.

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