New Season, New Start: How We Can Work Together to Reduce Litter
Izwe lethu, masilithanda (Our world, let us love it)
Litter is an important environmental concern and is something we are all affected by. Unless we begin taking steps to create change, our future generations will not have anything beautiful to enjoy.
Just like the change of seasons we are currently experiencing, wouldn’t it be nice if we could try change our mindsets and minimise the amount of litter that happens around us?
Why do people litter?
- Usually it’s because people feel no sense of ownership, even though areas such as parks and beaches are public property
- Many people believe someone else, a park maintenance or highway worker, will pick up after them
- Sometimes people are unaware of the impact that litter can have on the people and world around them
Why is littering bad?
- One of the most obvious reasons is that litter can really affect the way that an area looks. This can have a negative impact on things like tourism. For example, people don’t want to travel to, and holiday in, places which are dirty and full of litter. It can also ruin people’s experiences of beaches and parks.
- Litter can be expensive and sometimes difficult to clean. If each person were simply responsible for their own rubbish, money that is used for clean ups could rather be used to improve public places like beaches and parks.
- Litter is harmful to the health of people, plants and animals.
- Littering is illegal. People who litter can be fined and charged!
How do we reduce and prevent littering?
- The first solution to prevent littering is to always make sure you properly dispose of your rubbish. Change happens when a number of different people decide to take responsibility for their own actions.
- If you see a friend throwing something on the ground, ask them nicely to rather put in the bin and explain to them why littering is bad.
- If you see a piece of litter, pick it up and throw it away.
- As much as you should try to reduce litter by picking items up, remember never to touch anything that you’re not sure of. Unfamiliar items may be sharp or made from dangerous materials.
As the wise Dalai Lama once said “It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the world in which we all live in”
We can all do something to help prevent and reduce litter. Both big and small actions go a long way in strengthening the communities we live in, and in paving the way for a better world for future generations.