The environmental clock is ticking – How much time do we have left?
The environmental clock is ticking no matter what Trump has to say about it. Tons of waste are generated every single day and even though recycling is definitely a thing nowadays and has been set up as a trend, this is not nearly enough. After all, there are already so many disposals left behind and abandoned even in the wild nature. It’s harsh to hear but we’re the ones to be blamed. Just one straw, just one cup of coffee, just one… but when you multiply this by millions of people, you’ll get the whole picture and the pink glasses are nowhere to be found.
However, society gets more and more conscious about what’s going on and there are numerous causes already, in which you can participate and make the world a better place… or cleaner to begin with.
Scientists around the globe are constantly coming up with different ideas about how to manage plastic pollution in the oceans and on land. Hundreds of thousands of pounds are spent in order for some previously heavenly places to be cleaned and regain some of their gorgeousness.
The #trashtag challenge has become an online trend, involving more and more people from nearly all parts of the world.
Initiatives like The Ocean Cleanup, Clean Up the World, National and World Cleaning Days and Earth Day have earned millions of followers, engaged with the main idea to create clean communities and to reduce pollution in every possible and rather innovative way.
Long story short – no matter what – we, the people of the world, care and have started to prove this by actually doing something more than talking, writing and panicking about it. There’s no need to look for someone to blame because we’re all responsible like society and we’re the only ones who can make a difference by giving example and making small but significant everyday choices.
Let’s talk facts:
One of the world’s greatest worries is the pollution of the Ocean (with tons and tons of plastic) and since last year the floating boom system, (designed by the nonprofit Ocean Cleanup, founded in 2013 by 18-year-old Dutch visionary Boyan Slat – talking about the millennials…) is expected to clean up the 1.8 trillion pieces of trash, floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, within its first five years.
Earth’s largest cleanup is about to happen on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in April 2020, when the largest coordinated environmental volunteer event in history will take place.
In case you’re wondering, this year the initiative brought together over 500,000 volunteers in 5,300+ events spanning in the U.S and Canada alone. In the world’s most polluted country, India, the iconic River Ganges, which spreads out over 100 riverside cities and towns, was the site of choice of thousands of people to be cleaned.
Nature is not the only one to suffer. There are dozens of magnificent landmarks around the world, visited by millions of tourists monthly and the thing all those places have in common is that they have to be cleaned up.
Here’s our list of the 7 of the biggest cleanups in the world:
Sometimes even cleaning your whole place (especially if you’re lucky enough to live in a two floors house) may be considered truly a challenge but we’re pretty sure that you’ll be amazed by some of the biggest cleanups that took place in the world’s modern history.
After this brief introduction, let’s head up straight to the facts and the location we’ve chosen to include in this extraordinary list.
Introduced at the end of the 19th century as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, nowadays the Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world and it is cleaned every single day.
This uneasy task requires 4 tons of wipes, 25,000 garbage bags, 10,000 doses of detergent and 105 gallons of metal cleaning solution.
We can add something more to the story as significant and impressive as the other facts – the Eiffel Tower is repainted in three shades of brown only by hand every 7 years –a process, which requires nearly 60 tons of paint.
The Great Westminster Clock, The Clock Tower, Big Ben, Elizabeth Tower – no matter how you’ll call the world’s most famous clock - is extremely hard to clean.
Let’s start with the scale. The Clock has four dials – each of them is 23 feet square. Each of Big Ben’s faces has 312 panes. The hour hand is 9 feet long, and the minute one reaches the size of 14 feet. Each of the numbers on the dial is about 2 feet high. Impressed already? Well, what if we tell you that the clock doesn’t stop ticking even for a minute while it’s cleaned and did we mention that the cleaners have to hang over nearly 300 feet while doing their job?
We sincerely hope that you who read this are a resident of the UK because only those lucky enough to be among them are allowed to take an inside peek at the interior of the tower.
Let’s finish this story with a quote coming from Paul Robeson, chairman of the British Watch and Clock Makers’ Guild, which maintains around 2,000 clocks across the Parliament
the cleaners doing this should be very brave or mad, one or the other.
Talking about mad – the designer of the Big Ben Augustus Pugin descent into madness right after finishing this very last project of his.
While we’re still in the UK, we’re about to move on to another notable to many tourist’s attraction, situated in the capital as well. The tallest Ferris wheel in Europe is rising 135m. (nearly 443 feet) above the ground and each of its 32 passenger capsules weights ten tones (in case you wonder, the total weight of the construction is more than 2000 tonnes).
The wheel doesn’t stop, while the passengers are taking their seats, but had to do so during its first cleaning in 2013.
Since the Wheel’s first spin in 2000, it has had around 3.5 million visitors per year. And it wasn’t cleaned for the fatal 13 years in a row – so you can only imagine what the professionals had to go through. Ooh, they could work only after the sun has set, because the London Eye was not closed for visitors during the refreshment, so only two or three of its dozens of pods could be cleaned per night. Three whole weeks were needed for the task to be completed.
We’re heading across the ocean and landing in the USA, not because of Miley Cyrus but to visit the spectacular Mount Rushmore.
The monument was completed in 1941 but received its first cleaning more than six decades afterwards. The 60-foot-tall granite faces of the four great American presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln - were washed off in the summer of 2005 right after the Independence Day celebrations on 4th of July.
More than three weeks were needed for the task to be complete. And that’s quite fast actually, having in mind that there’s no water supply nearby or roads to give access to the top. The equipment had to be taken to the top with the help of a helicopter.
That’s not all – the local fire department had to use their fire engines to help pump the water through pipes more than 2km (1.24 miles) long, and the tourists were allowed to visit and observe the whole process. Quite a show, don’t you think?
The magnificent maidens who elevated the Erechtheion
Pack your bag well cuz’ for this one spectacular clean up, we’re heading hundreds of years back in time. Welcome to Ancient Greece and take your time to admire the Acropolis of Athens.
More than 2500 years have passed since the six blossoming maidens with mesmerizing beauty stood tall for the first time to hold the roof of the Erechtheion on the top of their svelte sculptured heads.
The draped marvel statues served as columns for one of the temples in the exclamatory Acropolis - the sacred rocky hill that rises 156 meters (512 feet) above the modern Greek capital.
The sylph-like maidens are known as the Caryatids and rise more than seven and a half feet (2.3 meters) above the ground. They have to bear a lot though – wind, snow, rain, air pollution, not to mention they have been standing outside for centuries, so when it came to cleaning up, it wasn’t an easy task, to put it mildly.
30 St. Mary Axe
The notorious skyscraper in the buzzing City of London opened its doors to the public in April 2004. The 180 metres (591 feet) tall building which contains 41 floors is not accidentally called The Gherkin because of its unique design and contemporary architecture. Formerly one of the symbols of London was known as Swiss Re Building and has been awarded numerous prestigious awards, among which
The most admired new building in the worldin 2006.
However, this spectacular construction needed a cleaning. So in 2007, the skyscraper’s windows were cleaned for the very first time from the outside of the building and this as you can imagine was not an easy task with 7400 glass panes in the external skin of the extravagant skyscraper, especially when it comes to the curved ones at the top of The Gherkin. Don’t forget about the wind which was the real challenge with a speed higher than 20mph, once the cleaners were 180 metres above the ground. The task took more than two weeks until all the windows were once again sparkling clean.
The Guardian called the cleaning of the 24,000 square metres of external glass (which literally is as much as five football pitches) of 30 St Mary Axe
The modern equivalent of painting the Forth Bridge.
Colour us impressed.
The last spectacular clean up, that we’re going to mention in this diverse article, is the cleaning of the tallest building not only in the United Kingdom but in the European Union as well – the 310m (1017 feet) high construction of The Shard.
There’s just one building in the whole of Europe which is taller than The Shard and it’s situated in Moscow – the 339m (1112 feet) high Mercury City Tower.
But there’s more when it comes to the magnificent elevation on the Island. 94% of the materials used in the construction of the building are recycled, which makes The Shard the biggest eco-friendly construction in London.
The 44 lifts and 11 000 glass panels, which are equal to approximately 56 000 m2 – in football pitches, it would be eight or 31.4 acres of space across 78 floors - make the skyscraper extremely hard to clean. The professionals needed a whole week to deal with just one of the sides of the
vertical cityand we assure you the job was not a piece of pie.
See for yourself:
Actually, over 40 different cleaning methods were considered, until in 2008 the scientists managed to find just the right way. The weapons of choice were high-tech lasers using pulsed beams of radiation – one of infrared and the other of ultraviolet rays, firing simultaneously - especially developed by the Acropolis Museum and the Institute of Electronic Structure & Laser at the Foundation for Research and Technology in Crete.
It came with a price though – the workers had to wear goggles and could work for only two hours a day because of the rays, coming from the lasers.
Atmospheric pollutants, settled with ages, took years to clean . Each statue needed between six and eight months in order to restore its initial mesmerizing beauty millimetre by painstaking millimetre. One square centimetre (less than half a square inch) might need three to four passes of the laser, which could take as long as eight minutes to zap away the statues' dark crust of dust, soot, minerals, and metals.
The maiden’s transformation is surely nothing less than spectacular. One of the Caryatids can be seen on display in the British Museum, it was taken to London in the early 19th century and has been a resident of the UK ever since.
There are surely more spectacular clean ups going on around the world but sometimes even cleaning your own place can be quite the challenge, that’s why we’re here for you, armed with the best cleaning supplies of the highest quality and more than ready to answer all of your demands for the sake of leaving your home spotlessly bright because perfection is indeed our middle name.