On Sunday October 9, for the eighth time, we organized a clean-up and environmental awareness campaign known as Limpiemos Nuestro México (LNM). Even though in some cities we had to contend with unfavorable weather, we witnessed the enthusiastic participation of millions of people who are willing to change their environment, literally "come rain or shine."
The problem of garbage disposal is very serious. Each Mexican generates, on average, a kilogram of waste a day. This translates into more than 110,000 tons of garbage on each of the 365 days a year. It´s time to act if we don’t want to be literally engulfed by garbage. This is why LNM was created.
In the latest edition of the campaign, more than seven million people participated, organized in 140,000 brigades, which managed to collect 40,000 tons of waste. It gave me great pleasure to see millions of entire families participating. Children were especially enthusiastic because they recognize the importance of having decent spaces to live and play in, something that, sadly, many adults have not understood.
The campaign is not only about coming out into the streets to clean them of garbage, but also to sow the seeds of change in the new generations so that littering becomes totally unacceptable. We seek to instill a culture of cleanliness and recycling as an everyday occurrence.
In fact, Limpiemos Nuestro México has evolved. It continues to be a cleanup campaign but it also focuses on the comprehensive rescue of public spaces, such as streets, parks, forests, beaches, and rivers. People are determined to have decent areas in their communities; it is a debt to ourselves that we are finally settling, no matter what it costs to do so.
In addition to collecting tons of garbage, on Sunday we saw people painting benches, fields, and walls, mowing the grass in parks, erasing graffiti, and beautifying thousands of spots throughout Mexico in many ways.
Today we can very clearly see that millions of people are willing to change, donating several hours of their time with family and friends to participate in this day of cleaning up and recovering public spaces.
It is important to acknowledge that none of this would have been possible without the cooperation of institutions, public and private, such as the Environment Ministry, Grupo Bimbo, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the National Forestry Council (CONAFOR), the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), the National Gendarmerie, and Liga MX, among many others. I should also acknowledge the tireless work of Esteban Moctezuma and the great team at Fundación Azteca in its efforts in favor of the environment.
I am very encouraged to see that we are coordinating the efforts of millions of people to improve our environment and recognize that a change of attitude begins with ourselves. The solution to these and many other problems is in our hands. We cannot continue to believe that the government will resolve everything for us, because this idea, in addition to being mistaken, is also dangerous.
Limpiemos Nuestro México teaches us that, together, we can change things if we really set out to do so. Thank you very much for participating and we’ll see each other next year.