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You're only as old as the litter you pick up (Column No.1478)

You're only as old as the litter you pick up (Column No.1478)

You’re only as old as the litter you pick up.

Australia’s chief military officer once said, “the litter we pass by is the litter we accept”, or something like hat, and pretty sure he was plagiarising someone famous anyway whom our General was hoping no one would remember.

But it’s true and you know you areofficially old when you start picking up that litter in the streets.

Yes, primarily the domain of seriouslyold people with nothing else to do or seriously green do-gooder beachcomberstrying to save albatrosses and turtles, picking up litter, for some reason, isjust not a thing.

Although the percentage of people wholitter is undoubtedly relatively small and basically confined to careless,aimless youth and fast food consumers (is that a tautology?), people who driveloud, farty four wheel drives, and fishermen, more than 99.9 per cent of thepopulation are prepared to simply walk past that garbage, completely ignoringor disregarding any harm it might do to the environment or those albatrossesand turtles…’Nothin’ to do with me”.

Even if it’s near a bin and possiblyaccidentally missed its mark, only a tiny fraction of our privileged society will do anything about it, knowing full well it transforms that small,insignificant piece of garbage into a matter life and death for a turtle.

We are quick to blame the parents ofthe litterers for their actions (and okay, what are we teaching our kids inschool these days?) yet happy to accept the tutelage (or lack of) of those sameparents when it comes to accepting a broader responsibility.

Who do we expect will deal with iteventually? The drains? Or the council, about whom we whinge incessantly howexpensive our rates and how lazy the workers?

Or is a clean up day once a year an acceptableamount of time to devote to the cause…and the solution?

Okay, admittedly if we picked up everybit of rubbish we encountered on our daily pedestrian route we’d need a prettybig bag, or a shopping trolley. There’s usually one of them handy, if unruly.

So what if everyone picked up just onepiece? Even if only the plastics?

Maybe we could legislate that it wouldbe illegal to walk past rubbish without picking up at least one piece?

Now we’re talking, and walking at thesame time. Wasn’t that hard after all.

Next week, you hardly ever see winebottles as litter so why the move to include deposit refunds for them? Let’sempty a few and find out.


Vasse Felix Margaret River Syrah 2020,$37. Funny how merely calling a wine syrah instead of shiraz can influence theway you approach and taste a wine. Must be more sophisticated, smarter andcleverer, because that's what we want to be and the impression we give otherswhen we drink it. Hey, it works! 9.5/10.

Vasse Felix Margaret River HeytesburyChardonnay 2020, $100. You don't see many of these lying in the gutter,although perhaps in Rose Bay, Toorak or Peppermint Grove they could be ascourge. Guessing even fewer are claiming the 10-cent deposit, but maybe? Big,bold and beautiful. 9.7/10.

Patrick of Coonawarra Joanna(Wrattonbully) Single Vineyard Shiraz 2016, $50. Don't get excited, this is notnamed after a wife, child or matriarch. Joanna is a district near Wrattonbullynorth of Coonawarra. However it would make an excellent gift for any Joanna.Classy packaging and contents. 9.5/10.

Patrick of Coonawarra Home BlockSingle Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, $50. 7 years of age is about right forcabernets to start hitting their straps, which always makes me wonder what arestraps exactly? This one has definitely hit them whatever they are. 9.6/10

Castle Rock Porongurup SkywalkRiesling, 2021, $21. Don't Star Wars fans get enough already? Now they've gottheir own bloody riesling. Imagine how much they'd flog at a Cosplayconvention? Great stuff too. 9.4/10.

Castle Rock Estate PorongurupRiesling, 2021, $26. It's hard to know which is the better value with these tworieslings, so maybe get six of each to balance it out. But this definitely hasa $5 edge. Lovely wine. 9.5/10.