The little things
The first things you generally notice in a foreign country are those little things that have become part of everyday life for the locals. They may seem strange and unusual to you at first but will soon become part of your everyday life as well.
During my first weeks in Turkey I stumbled upon quite a few of those little things.
One of them were the blue plastic tops from the water bottles you can buy at every street corner. I wondered why people would not dispose of them in the same way as the bottles. I kept finding plastic recipients hanging from trees, positioned in shop corners or even next to the bin in my university building. Those recipients were meant to collect the blue plastic caps only whereas the empty plastic bottles were disposed of in the regular bin. Why?
A Turkish friend told me that people are collecting the plastic caps to hand them to a recycling company who will donate a wheel chair for every 5000 caps collected.
Blue plastic caps and wheel chairs seem quite unrelated to each other at first sight but I think this is a nice idea. People are being made aware of the importance of recycling and at the same time promoting a good cause.
Now I find myself separating the caps from the plastic bottles and screening the streets for the recipients to dispose of them in the “correct” way.