Community Clean-Up in Heidelberg 2014

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Photo 23.03.14 10 04 19What comes to your mind, when you hear the term “spring cleaning”? Cleaning your house or apartment more thoroughly than usual, e.g. also behind the cupboard? At least that’s what came to my mind when I first heard about Spring Cleaning a.k.a. “Community Clean-Up” in Heidelberg.

What it turned out to be was that you meet moderately early (10am is early on a weekend, isn’t it?) with a bunch of locals at an announced location, get a warning vest, gloves, a plastic bag and a gripper. And then you set off and collect garbage. We did this twice during this year’s clean-up (it almost seems to be a tradition here for at least a couple of years): first up in the locals woods around Köningstuhl and the second time in the new district next to our own.

Photo 29.03.14 11 17 07When we were out there picking up cigarette butts (smokers really aren’t tidy people, are they? Seriously, there were so many of those “bastards”, as my wife called them … we’re talking about the cigarette butts 😉 ), glass bottles and trash from the local fast food restaurant, people asked us if we were workers from the town council or – half joking? – if we were doing community service. True, it looked very much like the tasks you would have to do as a punishment. And we were very much tempted to say something like “Yeah, I got caught throwing a cigeratte butt on the street … it was either this or paying a big fine …”. We didn’t but well, next year maybe … Anyway, just to avoid any misunderstanding: we were volunteers!

It is definitely a good exercise – it opens your eyes to the trash flying around on the streets. And that way, one is more aware of the garbage on the streets. Looking on the ground for about two hours and scanning it for candy wrappers and the ever present cigarette butts does that to you.

All in all, it was definitely a lot of fun and I’m sure we’ll be taking part again next year!

Photos from slideshow taken from Heidelberg city website.
Source: Frühjahrsputz 2014 in Heidelberg

Do you have something similar in the area where you live?
Have a look in your area, help keeping the streets clean and join the fun!

Green Documentaries: Garbage Warrior

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What do beer cans, car tires and water bottles have in common? Not much unless you’re renegade architect Michael Reynolds, in which case they are tools of choice for producing thermal mass and energy-independent housing. For 30 years New Mexico-based Reynolds and his green disciples have devoted their time to advancing the art of “Earthship Biotecture” by building self-sufficient, off-the-grid communities where design and function converge in eco-harmony. However, these experimental structures that defy state standards create conflict between Reynolds and the authorities, who are backed by big business. Frustrated by antiquated legislation, Reynolds lobbies for the right to create a sustainable living test site. While politicians hum and ha, Mother Nature strikes, leaving communities devastated by tsunamis and hurricanes. Reynolds and his crew seize the opportunity to lend their pioneering skills to those who need it most. Shot over three years and in four countries, Garbage Warrior is a timely portrait of a determined visionary, a hero of the 21st century.

Earthship n. 1. passive solar home made of natural and recycled materials 2. thermal mass construction for temperature stabilization. 3. renewable energy & integrated water systems make the Earthship an off-grid home with little to no utility bills.

Biotecture n. 1. the profession of designing buildings and environments with consideration for their sustainability. 2. A combination of biology and architecture.

Source:
Garbage Warrior