When do you see litter? Maybe you come across it on your way to work, during your afternoon jog, or at school. Unfortunately, litter is still a problem, but if you want start contributing to the world in a green way, this can be your opportunity. So how do you start?
First, you should know the common types of litter to look out for, which include fast food waste, paper and aluminum. Because some of these materials (specifically aluminum, Styrofoam and plastic) take hundreds of years to decompose, they pose a danger to wild animals. Landfills may not be the most environmentally sound option to our waste, but it’s at least a way to manage all of our garbage.
Litter belongs in the trash or a recycling bin (if applicable), and you can make sure it gets to one of these places by organizing a litter cleanup. Even if you can find five friends or family members, your litter group can make a difference in your neighborhood or local park. An easy way to persuade them is to remind them how they have been wanting to exercise or host a litter cleanup picnic in your backyard as a reward. Picking up litter together can give you the chance to catch up with your friends, and you also form a bond with the planet.
If you want to make a larger impact, join a group who has already adopted a highway. It may require more of your time, because they perform cleanups four times a year since they are dealing with two miles of road, but it can be a rewarding experience.
Collecting the litter is the first step in making a difference. Sometimes your actions even create a ripple effect. When neighbors see you taking the initiative, it might inspire them to join in too. However, when you take part in these activities, your job doesn’t stop there. If you see someone throwing trash out of their car window, remind him/her that it belongs in the trash or recycle bin. Surveys have shown that some people litter because they assume others will pick it up, so teach these people that it’s their responsibility and not yours.