A contribution by Julia Abdala,
student at the Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (UNISUL) in Brazil,
on exchange at ESSCA in 2018.

In October 2018 we had elections in Brazil. As usual, there was a big debate in social media between left and right-wing, people undoing long term friendships due to political opinions, fights and violence in the streets but none of this stopped Jair Bolsonaro, a very peculiar person, of being elected.

When we talk about elections it is pretty obvious that the main subject is politics but… I can’t help to notice how much has been produced in terms of waste caused by electoral propaganda. And by the way, is this not  politics as well?

The so called « santinhos », promotional flyers, are not sustainable at all. And this is what I want to denounce today!
But first: here’s a picture to properly introduce you to them:

(source: huffpost)

This bunch of rectangular shaped papers in the ground is used as a reminder of all the candidates, with his or her picture to help you vote correctly! It looks like this:

So, the politicians use these santinhos to promote themselves. They distribute it all over the place and guess what… People are so well educated that they just throw it away, ON THE FLOOR – NOT IN THE TRASH! That is a huge problem because not only pollution emerged as a consequence but also accidents that involved people slipping on the floor and hurting themselves already happened.

Wake up, human beings!

How can those whom we are voting for to run our country, our city, not care about such an important issue as pollution? And even more absurd: how can they be themselves the source of so much waste? It is mind-blowing. They should not do their propaganda in such an old-fashioned and polluting way. They must come up with better ideas. And as long as they don’t, let me tell you this:

First, the santinhos are not trash, they are residues. There is a huge difference between the two. Trash is something useless and a residue is something that you can reuse, recycle. It means, we could actually recycle all this waste. It is all a matter of giving the right destination to all this waste in order to avoid more damage. But the question is:

We already consume so much, we already destroy so much of our planet… Would you please awaken your consciousness and stop throwing things on the street?! It doesn’t matter what it is – the santinhos are just one example, but the idea applies to any source of waste you contribute to. Don’t be that person who throws their residues on the floor and let it to someone else to clean up, like in the first picture.

It is time for us to have more responsibility with the trash we produce, to understand the importance of selective waste collection, to learn that we cannot pollute the soil that very much feeds us! It makes me suffer to think that posterior civilians would starve to death because we contaminated precious land (or even water, which is even worse) to the point of scarcity. I cannot believe this is happening.

We might think that it is not a big problem, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that is the result of what happens when we count…

The picture to the left says: « This was just a little piece of plastic, said 7,6 billion people ».

That is what is happening with our planet. And a little piece of trash or residue can cause a huge impact. Fortunately, if everyone starts to do the minimum to change this situation, it can also cause a big difference.

Let’s face the need for changing this behavior. Just think a little bit more before throwing things away on the street or anywhere but the right place, ok?!

This post is a political act! I am a political being, and before choosing someone to represent me, I have learnt to do my own part. Now learn to do yours and take care of what is ours! Obrigado!

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