Operation Clean Sweep: BBQ & Brooms?

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Last night I was grilling on the top floor, and was looking about my neighborhood from my elevated position as shown below.

I noticed how dirty the streets are. Not just plain dirt, but trash that has been blowing around for weeks. I got to thinking about just how much time would it take to actually sweep some of it up. I have come to the conclusion that a few individuals with brooms, dustpans and trash bags could make a huge difference in a relatively short time.

Here is what I would like to propose to the foreign community that lives here in Taiwan: Why don’t we stop bitching about the KMT, politics, teaching or whatever else that we can’t do a frigging thing about, and actually do something about a problem that we can solve (or at least help)?

My plan is simple:

Invite some foreigners over for a cookout. Have a few rounds of your favorite adult beverage and then take a walk around the neighborhood with a broom. Sweep up the street trash as you briskly walk about. In 10 or 15 minutes you will have gone around the entire block and made a visible difference. Your cold drink will be there waiting for you when you return!

Often, we are perceived as outsiders who are not part of the community. This is due in some part to the short term visitors who may not have the time or the desire to become part of the community. Of course, the news media is quick to document inappropriate foreigner behavior whenever possible. So, wouldn’t it be nice if (for once) the local people could witness some positive foreigner behavior, where it appears that the foreigners are actually part of the community instead of outside of the community. I believe that seeing us walking around sweeping up some of the street trash would be a positive step in the right direction. I believe that we might even be able to set an example, by showing people that they do have some power over their environment. I get the feeling that much of the trash blowing around is there because the local people feel that they can’t stop it from happening, so they don’t bother sweeping it up. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could start a simple, sustainable positive activity in our local communities?

Please give me your feedback on my idea. I’m willing to host the first Blogger BBQ at my home to put my money where my mouth is!

I am going out later to sweep up some street trash on my block.

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