Clean Up – Actions 2023

On April 20, 2023, we reported about it in the newsletter: Garbage that is not disposed of properly, but simply thrown into nature, pollutes the environment – such as the soil – and endangers our wildlife. For this reason, we encouraged our employees to team up to conduct a Clean Up at their location.

Over the last few weeks, four Clean Ups have taken place in Cologne, Passau, Heidelberg and Neu-Isenburg.

The clean-ups from my point of view:

I have seen quite a few pictures of Clean Ups where six or more full and large bags were collected. I don’t know where that was or how many days there was collection, but I can tell you this much: it wasn’t at our collection points. We hardly found anything in Cologne and Passau.

In Cologne – near the Decksteiner Weiher – we had found a construct made of a tire and a tree trunk, which we were not sure if it was garbage or a work of art. We left it standing, because we wanted to avoid that the next day the newspaper would say: “Hooligans destroy valued work of art.”… ;-)

In Passau – near Hals – there was not much for us to collect along the Ilz River. Instead, we were able to discover frogs and small fish and enjoy a wonderful day in the sunshine.

In Heidelberg – at the Thing site – this place is apparently often visited by lovers or wedding couples celebrating their love. Basically a romantic thought that I can understand. Unfortunately, this left the floor littered with countless smaller and larger round pieces of tinsel in some places. This narcissistic ignorance made me sad. After all, it is possible to have a nice moment without polluting your environment.

In Neu Isenburg – at the Oberscheinstiege – there was a larger and heavier find: a part of a washbasin perhaps – in any case a lump of pottery. But in my memory the forest remains as a dog paradise with owners who didn’t quite understand the concept of dog waste bags: they carried their dog’s droppings in plastic bags, and then just left them in nature….


All in all, it was an enjoyable group experience every time, perfectly rounded off by the activities afterwards – such as Escape Room or going out for dinner. Also positive was the realization that there is not as much trash lying around in nature as I had initially assumed – or did we not hit the right places?! I found the action to be an important contribution, because no matter how small the piece of garbage is – it can possibly release toxins into nature or be the undoing of an animal, either because it eats the garbage or gets caught or injured in it.

If we can find an opportunity to do Clean Ups again next year, I would love that!

I wonder if it’s practical in the meantime to always take a bit of trash with you when hiking or walking in nature.
Of course, it would be far from sustainable to buy a roll of trash bags specifically for this purpose. Then it occurred to me that when you go shopping, you (unfortunately) always have plastic or paper (packaging) bags left over. Instead of disposing of them immediately, you can use them to pick up 3 or 4 things off the floor and carry them in them to the nearest trash can. You should also have a glove with you for such purposes. What do you think? Can you imagine trying this out? I still have quite a few washable gloves from the Clean Ups that I’m happy to pass on. Just let me know :-)

Lastly, I would like to mention that everyone who participated will be entered into the October raffle. The winner can choose a pair of Antonio Verde glasses:

In my eyes, all those who participated are heroes! These are (alphabetically):
Adela, Anna, Christian, Gunter, Hermela, Jonas, Katharina, Oli, Prashanth, Serhei, Yehor, Yousef

Thank you for your efforts!