Now that the snow is melting and temperatures are rising, you can see the first harbingers of spring sprouting next to the main street near Vorchdorf – green twigs, colorful flowers and yellow arrows??
What at first sight might look random and distracting is actually an unusual way of drawing attention to the increasing pollution along roadsides. Over the length of one kilometer, around 300 bright yellow arrows mark the spots where trash thrown from passing cars has landed. The idea of marking these spots was born in the year 2016 in the small town of Kirchham, and now, three years later, there are cities and towns all over Upper Austria that try to raise awareness on the topic of littering.
Littering is a bad thing in itself, but in the rural parts of Austria it has serious consequences especially for agriculture and livestock: when mowing grass for animals to eat, glass bottles or soda cans are crushed into tiny splinters that can cause devastating internal bleeding in the digestive tract of animals. Round about ten cows are seriously injured per year – only in our tiny village of Vorchdorf.
However, many people are fed up with this unnecessary pollution. Every year during the month of March and April, members of the fire brigade and water rescue and also pupils and teenagers help to clean the roadsides in their hometown. We are especially proud that so many young people are sick and tired of watching the destruction of our beautiful landscape – it shows that they care about their and the planet’s future. They know how important a clean and healthy environment is – a fact that many “grown ups” might have forgotten. Fortunately, this campaign seems to get car drivers thinking – the amount of bottles, plastic bags and soda cans is steadily decreasing. Still, the volunteers were able to collect nearly eight (!) tons of roadside trash.
So it looks like it’s kids who are saving the planet, and the adults who should do a serious bit of rethinking…
Thank you so much for your efforts!!