I went for a walk this am, to visit one of our local pond which is a small sanctuary for wildlife and a great bird watching spot. I was sat on the bench there, listening to all the bird songs and enjoying watching them all.
As I got a bit closer to take a picture of a duck, I realised that the water had a lot of rainbow pools in it. I saw that someone had thrown a car battery in the pond and that the acid had been leaking…
This is completely beyond me! Why would anyone think that throwing a car battery in a pond is a good idea???
I couldn’t reach it without getting in the water myself, and the thing was very heavy, filled with water. I managed to get it out and carry it back up the slope to the street. But now what?
I was nowhere near my house, and I couldn’t carry that heavy battery with me up the hill all the way into town.
I tried the neighbouring houses, hoping that they would care about their local wildlife as much as I do… but I just got blank looks and very unhelpful responses. They looked surprise that I would even do such thing. So I waited on the side of the road, wondering what to do. I felt like crying at some point, as I did find the neighbours response rather upsetting. Why would people throw such toxic thing in a wildlife sanctuary? And why the neighbours didn’t care more about their local wildlife? How are we ever going to succeed with any conservation effort?
I stayed there, on the side of the road with this car battery and waited for a while, trying to find a solution.
Now I know from experience that usually whatever it is I need, it is always already around me and I just need to see it…
Then I saw it.
There was a car repair van a few houses down with a guy working on a car under a gazebo. I approached him, and told him my story. I asked if he would recycle the battery for me, he replied:
“We don’t recycle car batteries”. I realised I had to rephrase that and said:
“I understand that as a company you don’t do that, but would you agree that this battery doesn’t belong in a pond?”
-oh definitely not, it’s very toxic, full of acid and stuff
-So as a human being would you help me dispose of it properly?
He was a bit stunned but said…
“My engineer is going to come over later, he might be able to dispose of it”
I looked at him straight in the eyes and said: “Can you promise me it will be recycled properly though, and not be thrown in another pond?”
-of course!” he said, we’ll dispose of it properly, bring it over here and put it in my van.”
I went to get the battery and carried it into his van. He looked at it and exclaimed:
”Looks like it’s brand new!”
The thing was heavy, covered in pond weed and full of water… I doubt it’s going to work, but we were both shocked at the idea that someone would do such stupid thing.
And that gave me hope. Finding another human being who, when he sees something that needs doing, just does it brought me a sense of relief. Of course what happens next is beyond my control. But one can’t save the planet or the local wildlife on one’s own. It is and will be a team effort :)
Who is with me?