Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 197,091,448 Issue: 962 | 17th day of Relaxing, Y24
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Clean-up on Aisle Money Tree


by mad_about_tigers

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Clean-up on Aisle Money Tree

     An Explorative Eco-Expose by MickiZara, the Eco Warrior

     What does an old rotten right sandal, a broken fishing pole and an old rotten left boot have in common? They’re all junk, and none of them belong at our sacred Money Tree!

     According to the Neopedia, “Helping the needy, fending off the greedy has become the slogan of the Money Tree. It's the only place where Neopians donate gifts and Neopoints so that others who are far more deprived can get a little help.”

     My fellow Neopians, as a long-standing citizen of our Nation’s capital, it is with shock that I’ve observed the decrepit state of our Money Tree. A proud institution from our founding days, for centuries the Money Tree has been a place where less fortunate Neopians could travel to for blessings, to feed their pets, and to receive a grant to assist them financially.

     Each week, our family strolls to the Money Tree, to leave blessings for others as gratitude for the many ways we have been blessed. What used to be a fun and gratuitous outing has turned sour. Like sour old Monocerous milk.

     For the past few months, the stench coming from the large grassy field surrounding the mystical old tree, rivals that of the Meridell Garbage Dump, and it’s no mystery why!

     On a recent expedition I observed lazy litterbugs and trashdandans leave their junk and rubbish at the formerly grandiose Money Tree, instead of discarding of it properly at the rubbish dump. Hordes of hungry, less-fortunate Neopets have to scavenge through piles of discarded rubbish, rotten food, and broken detritus, before finding a meager meal or a pouch filled with a few golden coins.

     One poor Neopet Janey*, neatly dressed in a brown potato sack outfit, told me: “We come here everyday. It’s been a struggle for my owner to make ends meet since being laid off as an Extreme Herder, what with the death of FlashPlayer and all. All of our daily income comes from selling lucky finds in our little market place stall, and aside from our daily omelette and jelly, we honestly don’t have much.

     We used to come pick up donated meals and spare change from the Money Tree, but lately, all we seem to be getting is Neoflu and Scabbiticulus.” Her words are not far-fetched, with all of the rubbish surrounding us, it’s no wonder one could get sick .

     I disentangled myself from yet another broken fishing pole and realised then - this trashvalanche monopolizing our beloved benevolent Tree has to stop. We all enjoy a spot of fishing at the Maraquan Underground Caves, I know. And I myself have often reeled in my line, only to retrieve another rotting piece of driftwood or a soggy old shoe, all in the name of practicing my fishing skill. Unfortunately and fortunately, the caves are a protected Maraquan Heritage Site, and a leave-no-trace zone, so most of the worthless objects we catch, come home with us – and that is where the trouble begins.

     Apart from fishing expeditions, daily rounds can quickly add up. Over 65% of Neopians become overwhelmed with exploration clutter and souvenirs, to the point that they simply want to purge their heavy packs. For many, the quickest place to do so seems to be by “donating” their worthless refuse to the Money Tree. As harmless as this seems, this decision has harmful ecological consequences – to our fellow Neopians and to the ecosystem of our formerly glorious Money Tree.

     The right thing to do is to **DISCARD** our junk!

     Simply put, if it can’t be eaten, worn, used, played with or enjoyed, it’s trash – AND again, for the trash dandans in the back, trash is to be *discarded*.

     Discarding, (and not donating) of garbage ensures that it ends up at the Meridell Rubbish Dump, where Charlie the Kacheek, with his lack of sense of smell, happily sorts out the compostables from the recyclables.

     “Rotting food and organic materials get broken down into fertilizer for Meridell’s acres upon acres of berry fields. Have ye seen the enormous Mortogberry that won last year’s Pick Your Own Champion? Apart from decomposing material, there’s random bits and bobs, farm waste and the lot. Sometimes electrical parts and gears. Luckily all sorted electronic waste gets shipped to Virtupets every fortnight, where Dr Sloth pays me a – ah, I mean, where it gets properly disposed of.”

     His reuse, reduce, and recycle state of mind and hard laborious efforts ensure that Meridell has the top recycling rating in the whole Neopian globe, and he takes immense pride in his work. “My father, my grandfather and his father before me where all Caretakers of the Meridell Rubbish Dump. It is my daily work, and I’m proud to make Meridell a better place.”

     “Sometimes, I even find valuables! It’s worth hanging out here, you never know!” he adds.

     After I admired a rotting piece of driftwood from his Driftwood Y22 Collection, I made my way back to the Second-hand Shoppe, where the friendly yellow Ruki invited me in. “At the moment I don’t have much for you to try on, unless you’re interested in mossy rocks and piles of dung. Very useful for most of our Kau and Bori farmers, you know, but for the rest of our customers, not a lot, I’m afraid.”

     Walking through the little shops’ nooks and crannies, I investigated to see what he means. I spotted a single pair of rainbow sandals and a beautiful autumn hat behind yet another stack of mossy rocks, and inspected them for a few seconds, before wishing the friendly shopkeeper a good day.

     For those who don’t know, the Second Hand Shoppe works hand-in-hand with the Money Tree, in a hopeful attempt that no Neopian should go without something to wear and something to eat. To see a once proud, preloved-clothing shop turned into a dung and rock gallery, was shocking.

     Dear readers, it seems to me, that our trash problem extends beyond Neopia Central.

      Before I returned to our current dwelling in Krawk Island (our family summers there every year during the Altador Cup), I checked back in with my new friend Charlie in Meridell.

     As I tried in futile to keep the aroma of the dump away from my sensitive nostrils, he expressed his sadness about something called a “dung-drought” affecting the quality of their farm-fresh fertilizer. After enlightening him about the Second Hand Shoppe’s dung problem, he quickly made arrangements for a young farm hand to relieve the shopkeer of his problem.

     That brings me back to our iconic Money Tree. In discussion with fellow conservations, there has been a decision to start an unofficial clean-up campaign.

     The unofficial Clean Up on Aisle Money Tree campaign kicks off on the 18th day of Relaxing, Year 24 and we need kind Neopians to donate their time and efforts in helping us clean up the grounds around the Money Tree. Support a cleaner Neopia by spending a bit of time to collect as much rubbish as you can see at the Money Tree and discard of it to the proper channels.

     We’ve created a simple, easy to remember jingle to help distinguish the proper ways to support the recycling and clean-up efforts in our community.

     Here we go:

     “Moss, and dung, and useless junk:

     Discarded to the dump you go!

     Food, clothes and something great

     Money Tree asks Please Donate!”

     ---

     In closing, dear reader – thank you in advance for helping take care of our greater Neopia, and if you are fortunate beyond your means, for giving to those in need. It’s been wonderful to see the support and mentorship mentality thriving in our wonderful Neopian Nation.

     An old Shenkuu proverb, “Blessed be the blesser” comes to mind – for who knows what great gifts could be bestowed upon you in return?

     Until next time,

     Eco-Warrior out!

 
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