We went for a nice hike yesterday... the only sad part was the amazing amount of garbage laying everywhere. Random household shit, even a broken street lamp post. Seeing garbage on the ground always reminds me of the how human carelessness is ruining the planet. Seeing garbage everywhere while trying to appreciate unspoiled nature, well, it kind of ruins it.
Perhaps my recent trip to Germany made me especially sensitive. When the person we were staying with explained that at their apartment, the neighbors take turns sweeping the sidewalk in front of their building, my jaw nearly hit the floor. If they don't, the building can get fined by the "Ordnungsamt" (the agency responsible for public order... seems almost redundant in Germany)We also went on hikes, and saw no garbage anywhere. In some places, they had even gone too far, and had started cleaning up the underbrush.
Given how cleanliness is so important inside the Spanish home, it amazes me how mentally, just tossing garbage outside your property line makes people feel ok. I remember when we went on a tour of the Benjamin Franklin School it struck me how, despite the inside of the school being somewhat messy and dirty by Spanish standards (I didn't even notice anything wrong, but my Spanish friend was complaining the whole way home), there was a definite lack of garbage build-up just outside the school fence.