To clean a plastic broom

Yes, “To kill a mockingbird” was dancing around inside my head. Let’s get that out of the way. I found myself sitting on the floor this morning picking hairs and sticky dust monsters out of a plastic broom we have. The broom was made of plastic, and the business end of it was comprised of plastic “hairs”. It was meant to be used on either dry or wet floors, in your house or out of doors. I would have preferred a broom which had its business end made out of natural fibres. Those fibres would have been softer and easier to clean than plastic “hairs” if you used the broom exclusively indoors. However, we always forgot to get the natural fibre broom when we were out shopping, so we just continued using the plastic one we already had.

How did a simple plastic broom become ineffective because it had become all knotted up in hairs, thread, and other stuff? Simple. It was because I hadn’t paid enough attention to cleaning the cleaner. If the cleaner wasn’t clean, then the cleaner couldn’t clean. At least, not as well as it should have. Make sure you keep your brooms and other cleaning equipment clean!

This thought comes to me continuously as I take long, slow walks or leisurely ambles around where I live, which is in the northern part of Singapore. We have a reputation for being a “Clean and Green” city. I think that reputation is justified, because we spend other people’s blood and sweat and some of our treasure making our Little Red Dot clean. “Clean and Green” is more appropriately “Cleaned and Greened”. If our small army of cleaners were to vanish tonight, I am not so sure we would still be “Clean and Green” tomorrow. Plastic bags and styrofoam boxes strewn all over the place, in plain sight of garbage bins sticking out of the ground or sidewalk, aren’t very helpful in perpetuating the myth. I took a slow walk in the slight drizzle early this afternoon, and one of the sights which made smoke come out of my ears was a white-breasted water hen slowly picking her way across the pads on the surface of one of the nearby ponds we have. I usually see white-breasted water hens scooting around on those pads, almost laughing with delight as they chase each other. What I saw this afternoon was a lone hen hesitantly picking her way around styrofoam boxes, at least one large plastic box, and assorted plastic bags which came in various colours. I could almost hear her wondering why people didn’t just use the bins for their waste.

If we can’t even bin our litter, even after all these years of campaigning by the government, should we even bother about dealing with the mockery of “climate change”? What do we mean when we say we are “going green”? Does it matter how many solar panels we manage to float on our reservoirs? Have we taken great leaps forward by using chilled water to cool our buildings? I don’t know. Actually, I do know but don’t wish to say. Maybe I should stop fuming at all this. And just remember to clean a plastic broom.

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