A recent news story from the Sichuan province of southwestern China finally prompted a much needed rubbish removal action on an illegally fly tipped pond. For years, the residents in the area had complained about the smell emanating from the 66,700 square metre area, piled five metres high with waste removal, and infested with hoards of mosquitoes.
Rubbish Removal Stories
So, to emphasize, years went by while citizen suffered over the lack of rubbish removal. Then, one day a news story about the situation breaks, and the very next day more than one hundred workers arrive on the scene with rubbish removal excavators! Wow! The news media has the power to move mountains…. even mountains of rubbish! They have the power to cause dramatic and immediate change! The only problem is that all too often they don’t cover the rubbish removal stories that need covering the most.
This begs the question:
What can everyday citizens do to increase the media exposure of our rubbish removal crisis?
You don’t have to be a full fledge activist to take a simple “activist move!” As the millennial generations mature, the social consciousness about problems like fly tipping and pollution is changing. People are beginning to develop more of a moral responsibility to take it upon themselves to pitch in and help however they can, even if they only have time to take small actions.
Social media has changed the way news is spread around the world. No longer is the news almost exclusively controlled by a few major media outlets. However, the mass media still has the juggernaut of influence within the news market. The difference is as citizens we have more power than ever in influencing what they cover.
Here are a few ideas about how you, as a private citizen, can put pressure on the news media to cover rubbish removal stores that matter!
Become a Citizen Journalist On Vacation
If you love to travel, consider visiting places off the beaten path, to learn how the local citizens really live. In this quest, you’ll likely encounter rubbish removal problems that need media attention. Take the time to snap pictures and even record (with permission) interviews with local citizens. You can post these to your own travel blog and social media pages and then send a link to your favorite reporters at major news outlets. If you don’t have time for that, you can send these materials off to several news media outlets and hopefully one or more of them will use these materials in a story that will reach thousands or even millions.
Let Your Money Do the Talking
If you live in the United States, you can let your money do the talking by designating that your pledge money go toward certain programs on National Public Radio (NPR). Let them know that you support programs that cover important rubbish removal stories and related sustainability topics. When you pledge your money, don’t just talk about shows but mention specific stories on these programs that you liked. Tell them you would like to hear/see more stories in the same vein as these. You can do the same with online news shows that depend solely on donations to stay afloat.
Write to the Advertisers of Your Favorite News Outlets
Okay, this is where you as the consumer can play hardball! Take the time to call, email, or tweet your favorite media outlets and let them know if they don’t start running more stories on our rubbish removal crises, you’re going to contact their advertisers and ask them to pull support if they don’t! Ouch! This will hit them where it hurts and they may actually take note, especially if you can get a whole network of people banning together to deliver a similar message to them. After all, most major players in the news media are funded primarily, if not exclusively, by advertisers.
Start a Boycott of Certain Companies or Products
If you sincerely feel a certain company is engaging in an unethical practice that is causing, or significantly contributing to, a rubbish removal crisis, consider starting a boycott of that company. Once you have a significant number of people on board with your boycott, contact the media and let them know in a clear and concise way why your group is boycotting the company. It will be even more effective if you also spell out a specific action the offending company can take for your group to call for the boycott to be lifted.
Show Some Love For Feel Good News Stories About Rubbish Removal Too
While most rubbish removal stories are negative, many shockingly depressive in fact, there are some amazing feel good stories out there too! For example, many artists have taken it upon themselves to create beautiful works of art out of rubbish removal. If you see a local artist who is doing this without media coverage, you may want to take it upon yourself to snap a picture and email it to the producers at your local television stations and to the editors of your local newspapers.
There are many ecofriendly businesses that are making wide scale efforts to solve our rubbish removal crises. For example, Clearabee is a private rubbish removal service in the UK that aims to divert all types of rubbish removal from landfills. To this end, Clearabee has developed an extensive database of way stations where different types of rubbish will be reused or recycled instead of being deposited into a landfill. So, an old appliance may be taken in for repair and sold as a used appliance in a resale shop. The same happens with old clothes, toys, furniture, and other household items.
These are always good news stories to promote because it rewards businesses and individuals who are doing the right thing. It also shows everyone, by real example, a better way to deal with rubbish removal.