Since 2019, Eden has helped parishes to become pristine.
Little Rissington is a small Gloucestershire village of 280 people situated in the heart of the Cotswolds. In the 1960s, children played football and tin can copper on and around the main road - pausing perhaps five or six times an hour to allow a car through. Today, it’s a busy thoroughfare and parents keep their children well away from the road. Where traffic goes, litter follows and Little Rissington is no exception. About two black wheelie bins worth of litter finds its way onto the parish roads and verges every month. To put it another way, over 600 pieces of litter are picked up every week, of which around 250 are cigarette butts. That’s 12,000 cigarette butts per year!
This is incompatible with a thriving local ecosystem, not to mention the damage our litter can do when washed into the waterways.
In January 2019, Little Rissington decided to call time on this litter and create a pristine parish.
The villagers found out early in the process that they would have to achieve their goal without the help of the district council, bar the donation of some litter-picking equipment. Councils are geared to cleaning accumulations of litter, not picking up litter on sight as the villagers now do. Little Rissington eventually adopted the Eden Program devised by a resident who has led many culture-change projects. Since mid-February 2019, roads throughout the parish have been completely litter-picked at least twice a week.
This includes picking up cigarette butts, which might otherwise be washed into the waterways and sea.
The biggest man-made contaminant of the world’s oceans is cigarette filters.
The parish now looks pristine and this has encouraged parishioners to keep it that way by carrying a bag in their pocket and picking up litter when they see it, while visiting neighbours, walking the dog, going to church, or just going for a stroll.
If you would like your parish to adopt the Eden Program, let us know below. We are a non-profit and make no charge for helping parishes. We will eventually cover our costs through the in-app sale of litter-picking and outdoor paraphernalia, and other social enterprises yet to be dreamt up. For the moment, we depend on generous donations and support from the public.
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