If we clear a field to grow crops, we do what we need to do. If we create a pasture for a cow, that’s a traditional way of feeding ourselves. If we build a home, that’s okay, we need shelter. If we build a cathedral, our spirits soar and we contemplate the best that we can be.

But if we take fertile land and dump our rubbish there, that is wicked. Our lives should not generate non-compostable, non-reusable rubbish. We have no right to do that, we have no right to sully the Earth with our waste. Yet we do it in unbelievable volumes, as communities and individuals. In the bin, gone away. In the sea, gone away. Down the alley, gone away.

Except it hasn’t gone away. It festers and pollutes and bears witness to human fecklessness. It’s also everywhere. This is an alley behind houses in Feltham, but it could be anywhere. There are places like this in my home town. Every roadside is a trail of rubbish. Apart from the ecological damage, where is people’s pride in the place they live? Why do they put up with this? Are they so used to living in a society that relies on buying things, throwing them away and buying more that this is normal?

It might be normal but it isn’t right. The Earth is not our rubbish dump, it’s our life-support system.