There is on crime that we all can play our part in eliminating, and that is littering! Why do I say that littering is one of the worst crimes? Because littering impacts us all: people, animals and the Earth. Whether it is in your neighborhood, your local park, your local shopping center, a lake, a river, an ocean, or your backyard it’s an unnecessary and preventable crime. My intent is not to minimize the severity and horrifying nature of crimes like rape, murder and robbery, but to shine a light on a crime that has a low profile. Littering slowly and casually deteriorates our environments.
Although I care about the animals and the Earth, my focus in this article is on the effect that littering has on people. Look at the images below and take a minute to think about how you feel and what runs through your mind when you see them. Use the arrows to drag and see the full image.
Which beach would you wanted to visit? Which picture is more appealing? Which makes you feel better? It’s the same way for our neighborhoods and communities. Would you rather live in a clean environment or a filthy one. It’s makes me sad and ashamed when I can go to one supermarket in a certain neighborhood and the parking lot is disgusting. There are food containers, fast food bags, and other trash items all over the floor. Who wants to see chicken bones and unfinished food laying on the floor when they get out of their car. But in another neighborhood 30 minutes away the parking lot of the same supermarket brand is immaculate. There are the same number of trash cans at both locations, but something is different about the mentality of some of the people that shop at the store with the litter on the ground.
Negative Effects of Littering
- It becomes normalized for those who see it all the time and they adopt the same habits.
- Environment has a connection to the mentality of a people and their behaviors.
- Seeing filth infiltrates and dampens a person’s psyche.
- Social tension between those who care and those who don’t.
- Decrease in the beauty of your surroundings.
- Increase of bugs and rodents.
- Spread of disease.
This is what happens when beauty and cleanliness are no longer a priority. I get that there are so many issues that people have to deal with in their everyday lives, but the little effort that it takes to walk to a trash can and not dump stuff on the ground can make a big difference. We have to start somewhere as a people to make positive changes and starting with a clean environment is a healthy start. Here is a video that shows how littering cam impact a community. For my thoughts on solutions see my next blog post coming soon.