"This project is totally crazy!" (Mar 24)

By Nara Petrovic

Let’s do it! movement is the simplest movement in the world to describe. Its mission statement and the entire “(trans-)political” program can be summed in one sentence: “Let’s clean up the waste from all illegal dumpsites in the world, together and right now!”

Many instinctively object this is a labour of Sisyphus—it is obvious the increasing population will keep producing more and more waste and not less and less. Thus the waste will not cease to be in one day, in one year - or will it?

It may be true that the idea of cleaning illegal dumpsites is a labour of Sisyphus, but on the other hand people get enchanted by the simple directness of the legitimacy of result it promises. 

Is there a man in his right mind who would accept a pile of garbage in the middle of a beach or forest without indignation? Or, even worse, in the middle of his courtyard or even living room? 

Yet, what we end up doing is shrugging and commenting: “What a horror! Why doesn’t someone do something about this?”

But who? Who should we wait for? Institutions never clean up the waste, only people can clean it. We need to simply take up the bags and start picking up waste that stains the nature and poisons our drinking water and air? And we mustn’t stop there, we have to make yet another step forward and let the industry know it must begin producing products and packages in an intelligent way. It is about time to show how intelligent our civilization is on the level of a simple relation to raw materials and residues of the goods we consume. 

The idea of a world without waste will sound utopian only in the eyes of apathetic sceptics, while in the eyes of biological beings, integrated into living environment, this is the only future, worth striving for.  
Self-organization of individuals on the grass-root level of the society is inevitable, the administrative mechanisms which are present now, are too clumsy and too bureaucratic to be effective—let alone agile. There is simply no time. We have to start making changes right now, focused together on each specific problem, one after another. Huge cleanups proved to be an excellent first step therefore we have started a worldwide campaign for 2012 - World Cleanup 2012, in which at least a hundred countries and hundreds of millions of volunteers are going to participate . 

Waste is uniting us. It transcends all cultural and other differences. It is the same for Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, healthy, sick, rich, poor, beautiful, ugly, athletes, scouts, politicians ... We are all creators of waste. There are no parties or ideologies here, there is no struggle for supremacy, there are just people without titles.  

Fatalistic forecasts say the end of the world is due in 2012. The disaster will be upon us and global catastrophes will bury the entire population of our planet. Are we really to believe this?

To me a different scenario is much more plausible, by which people will consciously decide to change their behaviour—why not exactly in 2012?—and thus refute (or perhaps confirm?) the forecast of the end world. With the massive cleanup of the world we will symbolically say that we’ve got enough of such a life and that we want something better.  
This will be the beginning a new era, year 0 a.b.c. (After the Big Cleanup) in the new counting on the new calendar of the new civilization. 
It is true that such a courageous vision may only arise in heads of a handful, but it can only be realized by all of us together. And why shouldn’t it? All we need is to awaken the hope in our hearts and transform it into concrete, synchronised activity—so intelligent, ethical and uncompromising, that it can only be called craziness.

Why not? If all the crazy people of this crazy world call this crazy, that’s a good sign we are finally coming back to our senses.