On a daily basis, people get busy with their schedules, problems, and happy moments. Not many notice that something is going on behind the scenes of their lives. Something important yet often overlooked… We invite you to embark on a journey through a typical day of a member of City Friends Club (CFC), a charity and NGO on a mission to make Cyprus clean. Nullker likes to tell stories of the environment in the human voice, and stories told by humans - in the voice of real-life superheroes. If one had to tell the story of a CFC team hero - let’s call him Mr. CFC - in a secret diary or a blog, it would probably sound like this…
The sun is not yet up, not to mention most of the citizens of Limassol, and Mr. CFC is already awake. His day starts at 6:30 AM. At this time, the team is heading towards a designated area of the city to tidy it up.
When on spot, Mr. CFC takes a breath in, surveys his surroundings, and sighs. Every day, the scene is more or less the same. The trash containers near the multi-storied buildings are always full - their capacity exceeds the amount of waste generated by all the inhabitants. People produce trash intensively and often thoughtlessly. Strong Cyprus winds carry lightweight trash around, and mischievous cats help spread whatever the wind cannot lift. And, of course, there are random individuals who litter by habit. All of this makes Cyprus look like a carnival of garbage!
“We need to do something to bring the message home,” Mr. CFC thinks to himself. All citizens, without exception, must understand and adhere to the rules of garbage sorting. In fact, the culture of waste management should be taught to children from an early age as well as practiced by parents as role models on a daily basis. Currently, some do not sort, and many of those who do sort fail to clean plastic items before disposal. But all is not so bad. Mr. CFC always smiles when he sees the garbage sorting containers with the funny stickers CFC has created to help people with their daily household routine. After all, that’s what CFC aimed for - to turn garbage management into a fun process that would entertain rather than burden. A big victory in the war for people’s hearts and against garbage!
It's already midday. Mr. CFC takes a small break and observes people sipping their daily coffee on the go. A whole story pops up in Mr. CFC’s mind. It is the story of an impostor coffee cup that seems to be recyclable but, in fact, is not. Contrary to popular belief, single-use coffee cups do not end up in recycling because the paper they are made of is reinforced by a payer of plastic. It means an “innocent” disposable coffee cup simultaneously contributes to plastic pollution, deforestation, and excessive waste generation. This thought makes Mr. CFC cringe. To deal with the common misconception, the CFC team shares the coffee cup story with the public and collaborates with coffee shops offering discounts to customers who bring their own cups. All in all, small eco habits make a day!
By the end of the day, all the garbage from the streets is packed into specialized trucks. The trucks are ready to carry it to dump yards and recycling facilities. Mr. CFC dreams of a future where people generate only unavoidable amounts of garbage, and trucks carry it all to recycling centers and not landfills. However, reality is as it is. The world is not perfect, and Cyprus is not clean - yet. But it will be. People simply need to learn how to express their love for their cities by contributing to cleanliness!
Finally, Mr. CFC’s day is over. Yet, today brings another emergency, so the managers will likely remain in the office until late hours. They need to brainstorm over a solution to yet another crisis. Managing an entire city is harder than one may think!
Such is the life of CFC heroes - humbly saving the city from a daily trash invasion, commencing in the shadows of the morning streets and finishing their mission in the darkness of the night. Often invisible and unnoticed, they don’t get medals for their deeds, yet they sincerely hope that people will begin to appreciate their special superpower - the ability to keep the streets clean.
P.S. Heartfelt gratitude to all CFC members who shared their personal experiences and insider knowledge to help us craft this story!
All our readers have a chance to show support to CFC by donating via the Nullker platform, under “Projects”.