Littering, a casual yet dangerous habit
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 21:03
"O beautiful for spacious skies/ for amber waves of grain / for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain.”
“America the Beautiful” was written in honor of this country.
But if America is considered beautiful, why does garbage dominate the land?
Wrappers and napkins can be seen on the side of the road, entangled in between weeds and bushes.
Cigarette filters are found mixed in with dirt, pretending to be fertilizer to plants.
Half-eaten sandwiches and chip crumbs lay peacefully untouched on a picnic table.
A study conducted by Keep America Beautiful, Inc. (KAB), an organization that promotes waste reduction, recycling and beautification, reported more than 51 billion pieces of litter find their way to U.S. roadways each year.
With all this filth, a person would think negatively of the environment he or she is in and eventually would try to avoid being in such a dirty place altogether instead of trying to clean up the mistakes others have made.
A majority of the U.S. population, however, seems content to be living around trash.
With citizens littering an average of 6,729 items per mile, the illegal, yet habitual act is a daily occurrence.
With 75 percent of individuals admitting they’ve littered before, it wouldn’t be surprising to witness a girl on campus causally dropping her empty soda bottle to the side and continuing her walk.
Because people litter so much nowadays, it would seem not too many people have respect for the environment.
Respect is a funny word.
To give someone or something respect, one would have to show consideration, to treat courteously and placing that person or object in a state of honor.
KAB’s 2009 Littering Behavior in America research found some people feel no sense of ownership of parks, walkways, beaches, roads and other public spaces.
If people were using the public space as their own, why would they have difficulty finding respect for a public area?
They would be unofficially entitled to that specific space and should be responsible to clean up after themselves there until they’re finished.
Because littering begins with one’s personal choice, he or she will be highly influential to others and their judgment.
By discarding trash to the ground, that action could possibly attract more trash and make a certain area into an unpleasant environment because of the initial choice to litter.
Reversibly, if the environment looks and feels neat, people would be inclined to dispose of their garbage properly. So why can’t that unwritten rule be made for every single location?
Motives of being lazy, ignorant or lacking concern can surprisingly cause some severe damage to the community and the economy as well
Environmentally, debris may be carried into gutters and local waterways, with a possibility for serious contamination.
Presence of litter decreases property value and housing prices while it increases taxes and the cost for cleanup.
If individuals can change their attitudes, they wouldn’t have to suffer as they compensate for their flaws by paying almost $11.5 billion each year for litter cleanup.
Taking less than a minute to walk to a trash can, however, can prevent all these issues from happening.
Put in a little effort and learn it was easy just to properly throw that ice cream wrapper away.