A Hanover Housing Association resident from Oldham is urging people across the country to join her on her quest to keep Britain tidy.
Her rallying call comes as thousands of volunteers armed with brooms, bin bags and litter-pickers take to the streets as part of the Great British Spring Clean. The campaign brings people together to help clear up the litter scattered in towns, villages, countryside and beaches.
Over the last two years, 73-year-old Ruth Major has travelled the length and breadth of England in her quest to encourage people to pick up at least one piece of litter a day. The retired IT teacher’s hope is that others will be inspired by her efforts.
So far, Ruth has headed as far north as Carlisle and as far south as Paignton in Devon, doing her bit to clean up the environment and sticking to her mantra to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. She keeps costs down by using her senior citizen’s free bus pass and staying in over 40 guest rooms located at Hanover estates. Using Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to spread her message, she has already inspired many businesses and people. Oldham Council has even shown its support by running a competition, creating a promotional film and supporting the campaign on its Twitter page.
She says: ‘I have met many interesting people throughout my travels and have come across some unusual items that have been discarded by people. These include a box of disposable gloves - which came in very useful - and a pair of crutches!
‘It should be noted that small positive acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. As the saying goes, “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow”. There are some 9,000 parish councils in England – if ten people in each of them were to pick up just one piece of rubbish every day, imagine the impact this would have over the year, especially if the craze caught on! It would certainly lead to us having a much better, cleaner and more beautiful place in which to live.’
Mark Lake, Director of Housing and Support Services at Hanover, said: ‘Although people are ultimately responsible for picking up their own litter, there is definitely more everyone could collectively be doing to help. I applaud Ruth’s campaign and would encourage others to join her in her quest to keep the country free of rubbish.’
You can follow Ruth’s clean-up campaign on Facebook (@RubbishRuth), Instagram (RubbishRuthsRambles) and on Twitter (@ruthmajor44). You can even post your own litter-picking adventures on Twitter using #1pieceofrubbish.