Everyone on this earth makes an impact on the environment, whether it is negative or positive. In these days, it is not our words that hold meaning and value, but our daily actions. People may stomp their feet and wave their arms and scream to the heavens that we need to do our part in keeping our land clean, but then after their ravings, you will see them wedging, tucking trash into a seat or a gap where it goes unnoticed, or even guilty of the foul shot, where for a moment they reenact their favorite basketball star going in for two points and miss. After the missed shot, they walk away leaving their trash on the ground as though the attempt was all that mattered. Then there are the quiet ones, who don’t preach, who carry about their day the best way they know how, that might retrieve the wedged refuse, or pick up the foul shot and dispose of it properly.
Littering truly is a common and unfortunate habit many citizens are guilty of. Some define litter as “waste in the wrong place”. No matter the definition, ensuring you are not one of many litterers can be a real help in your local area. And for those willing to go the extra mile, picking up garbage that might be in your path and appropriately disposing of it can be a positive influence to those around you.
Litter includes synthetic materials, waste associated with smoking, drinking or eating. Then there are materials that can breakdown and decay such as; food, or pet feces. Litter can contribute to many outcomes, most are not pleasant. They include but are not limited to the following:
– Public health. For example food litter among others, can attract pests like vermin and insects that can spread disease.
– Fires can be ignited with paper waste and cigarette butts.
– Polluted waterways have disturbing statistics. Our oceans alone have millions of tonnes of garbage that is harmful to the ocean life.
– Wildlife is harmed or even killed. Wild animals mistake litter for food or get bound in it and become a victim of either dying from not being able to sustain themselves or finished off by insects or other animals.
– Tax dollars being wasted. Instead of putting needed revenue in more important matters, a budget is set aside to help clean up after litterers.
– Litter begets litter. Often when people see a mound of refuse piling up, the psychology is “there is trash anyways, what’s one more burger wrap or soda bottle.”
There are many reasons why people tend to litter, if we as a society can better understand them, then perhaps we can come up with solutions. From what we have gathered, there are several reasons why people litter. They include but are but not limited to:
– Laziness. In recent studies 50% of garbage found littering the streets is within five feet of a garbage bin.
– Deliberate. The people who wedge trash in small spaces are a prime example of deliberate littering. Placing the trash in specific areas and leaving it behind.
– Convenience. Many folks will lay there waste just about anywhere when a garbage can isn’t around.
– Habits or neglect. For some people, littering has become a normal action. There are those who may neglect their waste out of forgetfulness or distractions.
– The absence of ash trays can make the avid smoker flick their cigarette butt wherever they happen to be when they are finished.
As previously mentioned, there are some local civilians who have developed normal methods of littering. The techniques include wedging (wedging waste in areas of containment), foul shooting (those that confirm their talents do not include basketball by throwing trash into a bin, missing, and leaving it on the ground), and there are those that use the undertaking method, by which they bury their refuse under soil, leaves or sand.
Here are a few things you can do to help in the quest of cleaner environments:
– Get the trash in the appropriate bins (recycling or garbage). Beside it isn’t good enough.
– If there isn’t a convenient garbage can at a beach or park for example, take your trash with until you come across one.
– Invest in reusable containers when packing a lunch instead of having litter that might be hard to dispose of.
– When shopping, opt for the reusable bags as opposed to plastic or paper bags.
– Be proactive in cleaning up after your pets waste.
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