Throw it in the trash

Littering is having a worse impact than you think

I enjoy taking walks and viewing the beauty nature has to offer us. I look at the flowers, the trees, a Reese’s wrapper, and a Bud Light can.

Yes, I meant to include the candy wrapper and the beer can. These items are just as common to see outside as the dandelions and the oak trees. We live in a time and day when it’s nothing out of the ordinary to see our trash spewed across the ground.

I don’t understand how we have become so lazy and inconsiderate that we toss our McDonald’s wrappers out the window onto the highway as soon as we finish our Big Mac. Of course, that wrapper isn’t going to affect us. We don’t have to deal with it lying in our car for months. We’d rather just let it sit on the side of the road.

Littering not only annoys and disgusts me, but it is also a sign of just how rude, lazy and ignorant we have become in society as a whole. I know I’m not the only one who gets irate when I’m cleaning up the yard and find pop bottles, fast food bags, and countless items we’d rather just get rid of right away instead of waiting to actually throw it in the garbage.

According to the Michigan Recycling Partnership’s website, of the 507 beverage containers found, 251 were deposit items that had been discarded by drivers. In other words, the 10-cent deposit didn’t stop them from littering. So we’re throwing away a dime each time we toss a pop can or bottle onto the side of the road.

Also, when volunteers for Adopt-A-Highway were cleaning up trash along Kent County Roads, they picked up trash that stretched for 46 miles straight. That’s a long distance of trash.

Additionally, 514.1 pounds of newspapers, magazines, paper, plastic and fast food wrappers/containers have been discovered; 227.7 pounds of carpet, clothing, furniture materials; and 204.2 pounds of auto parts. That is disgusting and it makes our communities look aweful.

When you’re visiting a specific area or neighborhood littered with a variety of items that should be in the trash or recycled, your first impression of that area is it’s a lazy, trashy community. What do you think when you see someone’s yard that is covered in trash? I bet you think they are lazy slobs – just like I do.

We don’t seem to give much thought about how some of these items can actually harm our environment. Animals can choke to death when they eat a piece of plastic and chemicals from certain items can seep into our water and soil, causing numerous problems for our overall health and well-being.

I know some of you are judging me right now and may be labeling me a tree-hugger. Shocker: I am guilty of not keeping our environment clean. I throw pop bottles in the trash sometimes instead of recycling them. I can be just as lazy and ignorant as you. At least I’m admitting it and choosing to make changes by recycling my pop bottles, instead of throwing them on the ground or in the garbage.

I’m going to make a change and do my part to keep our environment not only looking clean and decent, but to help keep us and other living forms healthy. I’m suggesting the rest of us do the same.