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Bitter About Litter

Who are these people?  What kind of person has such apathy – such a basic lack of fundamental respect?  Who do they think is going to pick that up?

These questions ricocheted around my brain last week as I turned into the road leading to my house.  A trail of trash littered the entire right hand side for a good 50 feet.  Having this eyesore so close to home made me mad, sad and embarrassed.  Not only was it a bad reflection on my neighborhood, it was also an ugly reminder that there are people that just don’t think or care about the health of our planet.

Instead of spending the day seething, I decided to get involved.  Donning a pair of gloves that I usually reserve for more pleasant pastimes (gardening), I set out to set things right.  Sticky plastic cups, random paper scraps, discarded fast food wrappers and other bits too miserable to mention were taken out of nature and put in their place.  I filled an entire trash bag during my 15-minute walk.

Looking back down the now clean stretch of road, I felt protective.  Woe to the person that tosses trash on MY street!  (OK, who am I kidding – I’m not a confrontational person…I’ll just quietly be back out there, picking up others’ laziness)   Although, according to Keeping America Beautiful, I may not have to.  One of the strongest contributors to littering is the prevalence of existing litter.  Picking up litter is one sure fire way to make a positive impact.  I am now totally tuned in to litter.  I see it everywhere (a mixed blessing of sorts) and you can bet I’m out there picking it up and putting it in its place!

Share your thoughts on litter; leave me a comment – let’s commiserate and cheer each other on!

9 Comments to “Bitter About Litter”

  • I have been known to chase plastic bags around parking lots. People stare and don’t try to help me catch it.

    It’s a simple act – One plastic bag at a time.

  • When I was about 6-7 years old, a friend and I would get big industrial gloves on (my dad works with chemicals) and bring a garbage bag (extra large) and my red wagon and go around the block and pick up trash. Sometimes we would also go to the park. Now that I think about it, I hope we impacted a lot of people by doing that. I mean, we were walking along a very busy county road and all these littering people driving by see a couple of little 6 year old girls picking up litter from grown adults who know better?! It makes me proud that we did that.. and we did almost every weekend during the summer. That had to make the drivers who have a conscience think twice about throwing that cup or fast food bag out the window!

  • Our town is horrible with litter! It seems to be the culture around here. I was watching a game in the bleachers of the YMCA one time, and these children were eating starbursts and dropping every wrapper down behind the bleachers. The parents weren’t even saying anything. I told the kids that they should put their litter in the wastebasket. One good thing, though, is the high school has started a program called the Neighborhood Improvement Project, where groups of kids get together on a Saturday and clean an area. Sometimes close to 100 kids show up. Maybe there is hope.

  • I’m with you. I get very angry when I see people wantonly litter in public. How hard is it to hold on to your trash until you find a trash can? In my opinion, it comes down to parenting. I was fortunate enough to understand the importance of social responsibility through my parents’ teachings.

  • You’re a better person than I am Monica. Besides bad driving, litering sets me off too. There’s no reason for it other than laziness. Picking up after these slobs is very admirable. Can we go after the root problem though? And I’m not even sure what that is. I just know someone else will toss an empty pop bottle after you clean up your beautiful street.

  • I spend one morning every week picking up recyclable trash on my morning walk. It’s back in like two days! I live in an area of lower-middle class homes (I blame the middle schoolers who walk by!) but still. If they had to drink water with tiny bits of plastic and unnameable liquids, maybe they’d get it!

  • I was at a local wildlife refuge and saw someone had dumped an entire bag of trash on the ground. What is wrong with these people? And out in front of my house daily…. cigarette packs, soda cans, candy wrappers. I want to smack them. How hard is it to take it home and throw it away.

  • Great post Monica! I agree with you 100%!! It is very sad that people can just throw out trash like that on the side of the road. Our neighborhood takes turns picking up trash up and down Stevens Creek Rd. It’s a good thing to get even your children invloved in!

  • Nicholas Lee

    I definitely feel the same! It really hits you when you witness it right around the corner. Evceryday I come into the ESC parking lot and I see LARGE 44oz., styrofoam big gulp cups in the front lawn. I pick it up…net day the same thing. It’s maddening the amount of disrespect people may have for other people and planet alike.

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