Swiss Cleanup 2015: LANGENTHAL

10 people. 2 hours.  Plenty of trash for everyone.

I climbed over a fence and trudged through “the jungle” between the fence and the Langete.  I wish I had a machete.  There was trash in there that had certainly been there for years.  Close to 60 Liters collected in just 30 minutes.

Next year, we’ll need 1000 people and 1000 vacuum cleaners to remove the 100’s of 1000’s of cigarette butts.

Special thanks go out to:
IGSU for driving the nationwide campaign so well, and
the SP and Green Parties for organizing the Langenthal event.  BRAVO!

Odd that the SVP did not collaborate with them. One of Switzerland’s most active and vocal proponents for combating littering is Nationalrätin, Andrea Geissbühler (SVP).

Experience in other countries shows that as soon as participation in cleanups reaches 5% of the population in a given region, they turn the tide.  The amount of trash and litter decreases.  Therefore, we urge all the Gemeinde and organizations who run their own cleanups on different days to consolidate.  Critical mass is key.  The media does not report on 20 people or even 200 people out on a cleanup.  200,000, however, is a different story.  Let’s work together to reach this critical mass in 2016.  We WILL turn the tide.

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2015 Nationaler Clean-Up Day

Bravo IGSU for expanding the Swiss National Clean-up Day!  Last year, there were over 300 cleanups throughout Switzerland.

Get ready, because the 3rd Swiss National Clean-up will take place on 11 and 12 SEPT 2015.

Get ready! Sign up.

Be a HERO… Organize a clean-up yourself.

What’s it all about?  Not to clean up other people’s messes.  It’s about behavior change.

Computers copy information.
Humans copy behavior.
Behavior is shown through actions.
In order to copy a behavior, a person needs to SEE an action.
Would you like to change this littering behavior in Switzerland?
Then get out there and SHOW the others the behavior that they should copy.

We urge the organizers of other clean-ups and “Chüüdertage” who have not yet switched the date of their clean-ups to coincide with the National Clean-up to please stop being so stubborn and think of the big picture.  We need CRITICAL MASS to make a change.  The media will not report on 70 people who gather to clean up the side of a road.  However, if a HALF MILLION people in Switzerland are out in the streets and forests and rivers cleaning up the mess, well then… that’s a different story!  That WILL get coverage.  The national media will report it.  Probably international as well.

Cow eating a newspaper

Early this morning, I was on the bus from Vaduz to Sargans. Along the way, I witnessed a COW EATING A NEWSPAPER!

I doubt it was because there was a slanderous story about her in it!

We still have a lot of work to do. It doesn’t help matters that the Swiss Ständerat (similar to the US Senate) rejected a motion to create a National Anti-Littering campaign. This motion passed in the Nationalrat (similar to the US House of Representatives).

Perhaps we should take it directly to the people?

How about a referendum next year?

IT WORKS! 1/10th the trash in 1 year.


Saturday was the Swiss National Cleanup Day. Again, I participated in the Roggwil Cleanup. (For the 2nd year in a row, Langenthal was not so cooperative. :-I )
The volume of trash we had to clean up this year was 1/10th of that we had to clean up last year!

This is consistent with the experience in many other countries. Humans copy behaviors, not info. (That’s why poster campaigns do not change anything.) In order to copy a behavior, people must SEE a behavior. That’s the point.

Behavior change via positive VISIBLE action.

Roggwil has turned the corner on litter.
BRAVO, Roggwil!

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Die echten Kosten von Littering sind MILLIARDEN hoch… Swiss-Brand Schädigung!

Viel wurde über diese Statistik publiziert, dass die Beseitigung von Litter >CHF 200 M pro Jahr kostet.  Diese Zahl ist Peanuts im Vergleich zur Schädigung des Swiss-Brands, die kommen wird, falls wir nicht erfolgreich sind, diese Littering-Infestation zu beseitigen.

Der GDP (BIP) der Schweiz ist ungefähr CHF 630 MILLIARDEN.

Circa 50% (CHF 315 Mia) kommt von Export. Schweizer Produkte geniessen ein Premium am Markt von zwischen 20-50% über konkurrierende Produkte.  Für diese Übung, sagen wir, dass dieses Premium im Durchschnitt 30% sei. Weil es nicht Export ist, fügen wir noch hinzu die Schweizer Tourismusbranche: CHF 36 Mia.

D.h., der Swiss-Brand hat einen Wert von mindestens: CHF 130 Mia.  (PRO JAHR!!)

      Wert des Swiss-Brands   (CHF Mia.)


Export 50%


Swiss Preis-Premium 30%







~ 130

Das heisst, mindestens CHF 130 Mia sind auf dieser Werbeslogans angewiesen:

  • Swiss Made”
  • “Made in Switzerland”
  • “Swiss Quality”
  • “Schweiz: ganz natürlich”

Um diese Behauptung zu beweisen, muss man nur die Spedition von irgendeiner Firma anschauen, die viel exportiert. Man sieht Swiss Made oder Made in Switzerland  auf jeder Kiste geschmückt.

Sobald das Erscheinungsbild der Schweiz nur ein kleinen bisschen von „high-quality / high-tech“ sich neigt, sobald die Schweiz nicht mehr als das klein und fein Postkarteland betrachtet wird, wird der Wert des Swiss-Brands (und deshalb Einkommen und Wohlstand) erodieren.

Ein Brandschaden von nur 1% bringt schon eine Wertminderung von CHF 1.3 Mia.  10%??  Katastrophe.

Ich kann bestätigen, dass der Ruf der „sauberen“ Schweiz im Ausland schon angefochten wurde. Touristen haben mir erzählt, “Ja, ich war ganz überrascht. Es gibt Müll überall genau wie in jedem anderen Land.“

Die Entsorgungskosten von Litter sind wirklich Wurst im Vergleich zum Schaden des Rufs der Schweiz.  Wir müssen Littering auf der Nationalen Ebene bekämpfen.

Nationalrat hat Motion für Bekämpfung des Litterings angenommen!!!

Another victory for the good guys and for the Schweiz.

The Swiss Parliament approved a motion to set up a Task Force AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL to tackle the growing problem of littering. Congratulations to Nationalrätin Andrea Geissbühler for her tenacity. She has been working on this for nearly 3 years.

Now it is time to write to the members of the Bundesrat to motivate them to update their knowledge about the littering infestation. The efforts to date have been ineffective. It is time for a new path.

Swiss National Cleanup Day: 21 SEPT 2013

The event we have been working on for over a year is going to happen!
SWISS NATIONAL CLEANUP DAY will happen on 21 SEPT 2013.

It is organized by IGSU and PUSCH.

There are instructions and tools there about how to organize and market a cleanup in your area. If you already are involved in a cleanup or know people who are, we urge you to move the date to 21 SEPT.

It’s all about doing things that scale!  The media does not care about an event where a few hundred or even a few thousand people turn out. BUT… an event in which 1/4 MILLION people turn out across an entire country… that’s a different story. That will be in all the papers, blogs, and news channels…  even international media will cover it!