Don’t Be A Litterbug

Posted: June 26th, 2009 under philosophy, psychology.
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Skye's Litter
Today as the girls and I were walking home from the school playground, Skye took it upon herself to pick up trash along the way and find a garbage can in which to dispose of it. I was proud of her for caring about the environment, and also bothered by the negligence and indifference of whomever had left it.

I am stunned that people intentionally throw their garbage on the ground. We do have convenient disposal containers everywhere. It shouldn’t be too difficult to carry a plastic wrapper or beverage container a few feet, or even a block or two. What causes people to litter? Laziness? Carelessness? Apathy?

Mandy Kelly wrote in a Post-Searchlight article about littering from June 26, 2009:

Gov. Sonny Perdue, who established the statewide campaign against litter in August 2006, said the Department of Transportation spends more than $14 million each year cleaning up highways.

“Not only does litter cost us financially,” Perdue said, “It blinds our roads and our highways, damages our precious water resources and it negatively impacts economic development, tourism and community pride.”

Everyone litters, even those who slide that almost-empty bag of popcorn under their seat at the end of football game because they know someone is being paid to pick it up.

Parade LitterAnother thing that baffles me is that some smokers seem to think cigarette butts are not litter.

“Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world,” Randy Hartmann, director of the Office of Environmental Management for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, said.

People litter because there is a lack of solid waste collection services or knowledge of proper disposal options, the perception that service is too costly relative to risk of being caught, and simple laziness.

The No. 1 reason, though, is because people are careless. Litter blows out of truck beds, uncovered trash and recycling bins, and off boats and picnic tables.

Tonight I was again disturbed by the amount of trash left by spectators following the La Kermesse parade in Biddeford. However I do appreciate the overall cleanliness of Saco. It is a great place to live.

Litter creates an eyesore, harms wildlife and their habitats, and puts motorists at risk. Let’s not be apathetic about our environment. Keep it beautiful, clean, healthy, and safe!

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