Even If It Didn’t Matter, Why Would Anyone Choose To Litter?

15 Comments

 
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Even if littering did nothing and whatever you threw on the ground had no affect on our ecosystems or planet, why would anyone choose to do it?

Not much irks me more than watching someone driving down the street in their car throwing trash out the window. We have kind of come to expect cigarette butts to be thrown out of the window, even though they contain mercury and arsenic and take up to 10 years to degrade, but I am talking about the people who throw soda cans, napkins, and fast food bags right out their window onto the street.

Just the other day, someone was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot ahead of me and threw a beer can out that almost hit my car. I tried to yell at him but of course he just gave me the finger, so I stopped and got out and put it in the trash can. I cannot clean up after everyone – but why would someone want to throw trash on the ground around their own town?

It’s like some people have stopped taking any pride whatsoever in their communities. Between trash on the streets, the giant billboards, the neon signs, and the parking lots the size of small towns, some people have seemingly stopped caring about what their surroundings look like. Separate from even the environmental impact of trash flowing into the sewers, being absorbed into underground aquifers, or ending up in the ocean – do you really want to look at trash on your streets and in your alleys? Has it really gotten that bad that a bunch of people can ruin it for all of us?

We have to clean up after ourselves and other people – it’s become pretty obvious that too many people think that throwing their trash on the street is A-OK, but it’s not with me. Trash on the street is not just ugly, it also is terrible for the earth because of what the trash is made of and where it is going to end up. It doesn’t just disappear into thin air! Items such as diapers take up to 500 years to degrade and plastic bags end up in the ocean creating a floating island bigger than Texas. Are we truly OK with that? I’m not, as I don’t want to look at it and I don’t want to have to deal with the repercussions later on down the line. So if you see some trash on the ground, do us all a favor – pick it up and put it in a trash bin. Even if everyone just picks up a tiny little bit, it will add up. Little things do matter, and never forget that. Small changes can make a big difference.

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Comments

  1. i live in a rural area and once a week walk a few mile stretch of a back road where people like to speed and throw garbage out the window. the detritus of americas junky fix of sugar, salt, fat, nicotine and alcohol. not to mention tires and five gallon pails filled with cement. i think im going to put up little wooden signs along the road saying “please stop littering” not because i think it will help them change but so they understand that what theyre doing does not go unnoticed. what we do to the earth we do to ourselves.

  2. i get upset at ppl throwing their cigarettes our the window while driving. lol.

    Not sure what type of person still litters. I suspected it’s mostly teenagers so i did a little digging.

    According to the Clean Communities Council of NJ, the largest age group is between ages 18 and
    24 years. This age group accounts for more than 29 % of all litter found on the rural
    roadways of New Jersey. The 45 to 54 year old group contributes more than 17 % of the
    litter found on our rural highways.
    Urban streets littering shows that ages 11 to 17 are the biggest offenders. They are
    responsible for more than 30 % of litter found on urban streets, followed by age group 18
    to 24, who provide more than 27 % of the urban street litter. These numbers indicate that
    more school and city-wide cleanups, as well as additional litter education programs
    within the schools would help students realize they have the ability and responsibility to
    reduce litter on our streets and highways.
    Take-out food packaging accounts for more than 21% of all littered items, followed by
    miscellaneous plastic, metal and glass. Beverage related litter is in third place while
    newspaper, food packaging and yard waste rank as the fourth most littered material.

  3. It does surprise me its mostly teens, because at least they are growing up in a time where the environment is a concern of a lot of people. When I was a teen, no one cared. Surprising, thanks for looking that up!

    And I am with you on the cigarette thing – they have ashtrays!

  4. @stephaine, I feel very proud when kids at such early age,realise the essence of keeping the environment clean.But why would anyone keep their homes free from litter but neglect the fact that our environs should be litter-free too. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I have to say I see people litter and I wonder what kind of person would think it is okay to just throw crap out on the street. Cigarette smokers don’t care what they put their bodies or what they do to second hand smokers so why should they care about the environment.

    But the rest of us? There is a trash can on almost every other block, gas stations have trash cans and you have one at home. You simply hold on to your trash until you get to a trash can.

    Don’t get me started on recycling…

    😀 Cheers,

    Tabs

  6. I think throwing cigarette butts and other items out a car window has got to be some of the most piggish behavior around. It’s selfish, arrogant and disgusting.

  7. it disgusts me, too. how can people just think, “oh, i’m done with this, i’ll just throw it out of my window.” i’d hate to meet them, and i’d especially hate to meet their parents.

  8. @matthew: The thing is, they don’t think. It’s laziness and ingorance (and disgusting), And mostly SEP: http://tinyurl.com/5yemd5. They just don’t see it.
    Oh, and chances are, their moms clean(ed) up everything and keep a very tight house. But not to talented in the whole upbringing thing.

  9. People that litter come in all shapes, sizes, ages, types….

    FOR THE RECORD…
    1. I AM a smoker and NEVER throw my butts out the window, thats what an ash tray is for..
    2. I DO care what I put in my body contrary to popular belief…I eat healthier than MOST people I know…I find it a joke that people that will eat fast food , which I NEVER touch…will critasize smokers..Please just as bad.
    3. In public, my butt’s NEVER go on the ground, it is put out and stored away in a container in my purse if I can not find a trash bin.
    4. My biggest pet peeves are those that litter and those that DON’T recycle…

    In my opinion, people that litter are self absorbed and lazy.
    If I see someone littering i will usually ask, Do you throw your garbage on the floor at home as well? I mostly get an embarassed look, but theres the occassional Curse words or no reponse.

    Have you ever followed a Garbage Truck on the freeway? They have flying debris all the time..
    Over Flowing outdoor Trash Recepticals at fast food places that gets carried off by the wind..

    So please, profiling smokers is wrong… Not all of use are irresponsable with our butt’s…It just happens to be my ONE vise, I don’t drink, Eat fast food, simple carbs, use chemicals in and around my home….ect

  10. I’m 42, and littering has been socially unacceptable for nearly as long as I can remember. I don’t consider myself “green”, but do care about doing the right thing.

    That said, too bad the Italian guy in the old littering commercials (playing an American Indian) didn’t shoot arrows at litterbugs, instead of just shedding a tear.

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