Thursday, June 24, 2010

Clean City: Will we throw it all away? Litter

Litter Picking is an All Season Sport.

Will we throw it all away?

Maybe we will throw it all away because at a cultural level we are a throwaway society. From little Johnny’s red fire engine received on Christmas Eve to the puppy or kitten little Sarah adorned on Christmas morn. Desires filled as quickly as they developed, yet sometimes the object of such desire is soon -abandoned in a corner as though already set to expire.

A broken headlight, the cuteness allure diminished by puppy mischief among the freshly discarded wrapping paper and soon the fire engine is flashing its red lights aside the trash can at curbside. The now lonely puppy or kitten (no sooner adopted into the family), is relinquished to a lonely shelter like yesterday’s newspaper. Moreover, it is only mid January.

As adults, many of us no longer even expect toasters, cell phones, refrigerators, and computers or much of anything we buy to last more than a few years. Some of us can still remember growing up with the same telephone, same appliances our parents had forever. Some can remember and a few still do, fixing broken items instead of discarding and replacing them with new ones.

Even marriages seem easier to dissolve than to repair through reconciliation (if we are to believe the rate of divorce statistics). We have processes that facilitate even streamline no fault divorce with seemingly little if any attention or support for fixing and saving what the parties once so greatly desired.

Has it become too easy to throw away, to easy to create and accept the notion of waste? 

Have we as a society become so tolerant of, so accepting of waste that we even expect waste as part of our daily lives, our environment, part of our human footprint?

Yes, we should pick up litter and strive for green to achieve a Green and Clean environment. Yet what are the cultural causes at the root of littering behaviors? Might we ponder the question historians may dwell on? Have we become a throwaway society, our culture here only for the short term? In addition, what might the impact be in the long term from our being so accepting of a “just toss it out” attitude? 

Will we bury our two hundred year legacy in waste and trash? 

Alternatively, will we recognize nature’s examples by valuing all resources and therein extending the life of all that we cherish? Maybe, maybe if, IF we do not throw it all away.