Thursday, June 3, 2010

Littering Hurts

I love to go on walks. I walk to the post office twice a week for my shop. I don't have a car or a bike and I don't mind it at all. Walking is my favorite. Even if the car is available I choose to walk. It helps me notice the small things. Like mushroom patches, or hatched robin's eggs. You don't find those in cars.
Bad posture as always...

Walking to the post office not only helps me notice beauty in the details.. it helped me notice a lot of trash. This walk is full of litter.

I don't understand how people can just use the Earth as their garbage can. People don't even realize it.
Just the other day I was riding in the car. The other person in the car with me was opening something, an envelope or piece of mail. They unrolled the window and just put the trash outside on the highway, casually. I asked, "ummm what are you doing?" I'm pretty sure I got the "Paper is wood and wood comes from nature" excuse. I wouldn't have it.

You have no excuse to litter. This is our home. All of ours. Stop messing it up. It's harmful to our animal friends and it makes the Earth loose it's beauty. It is just plain disrespectful

This last time when I went on my walk to the post office I brought along a trash bag.
I'm sure I looked silly picking up trash in front of all the speeding cars, but I hope people noticed.
I hope it made people think twice about littering.
Styrofoam container  1 million years to decompose
Plastic jug 1 million years to decompose
Aluminum can 200-500 years to decompose
Disposable diaper 550 years to decompose
Tin can 90 years to decompose
Leather shoe 45 years to decompose
Wool sock 1 year to decompose
Paper bag 1 month to decompose
Banana peel 3-4 weeks to decompose 
"It is estimated that several trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. That's billions of cigarettes flicked, one at a time, on our sidewalks, beaches, nature trails, gardens, and other public places every single day. In fact, cigarettes are the most littered item in America and the world. Cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate tow, NOT COTTON, and they can take decades to degrade. Not only does cigarette litter ruin even the most picturesque setting, but the toxic residue in cigarette filters is damaging to the environment, and littered butts cause numerous fires every year, some of them fatal." (Source)

 Who litters?
  • 75% of Americans Admit to Littering within the last 5 years.
  • Most common litter offenders- Men between 18-34 years
  • Smokers
  • People who eat at Fast Food places at least 2x per week
  • Drives more than 50 miles/day
  • People who go out for entertainment at least 1x per week

Litter hurts people. Every year there are numerous vehicle accidents caused by litter. People in these accidents are injured and sometimes even killed in their attempts to avoid litter in the roadways. Young children fall on litter in playgrounds, get cut and need medical attention. 

Litter also harms plants and degrades natural areas. When garbage is dumped, it can kill or stunt plant growth. Few people think about the harm to natural areas from litter.

Litter kills or injures animals. Many small animals crawl into bottles or jars and get stuck and slowly starve to death. Animals get caught in plastic six pack rings, plastic bags, fishing line and a multitude of throwaways. Birds that are stuck, can’t fly away from danger. Sometimes animals caught in six pack rings are strangled as they grow too big for the opening. Animals get cut, infected and die. Every year, millions of birds, fish and animals die from litter.
It shouldn't matter what your religious beliefs are. It shouldn't matter if you think the Earth is alive or just a rock. It is everyone's home. Please keep it clean and beautiful.

If we can't respect our environment how can we hope to respect others?

Walk barefoot
Climb a tree
Pick up trash
Do yoga outdoors
Sit and listen to the Earth
Meditate in the sunlight
Sleep under the stars
Watch the sunrise
Walk more
Love your Mother Earth
 F e e l   c o n n e c t e d . 


  1. Wow Rachael this is a very meaningful posting, thanks for bringing this issue to the forefront, it's very important. The cig butt issue pops to mind right away, as I am not a smoker, it saddened me a few years back when I went to the shore for vacation, and the gorgeous white crystalline sand on the shore was spoiled by and endless amount of old cig butts people had put out in the sand. How very sad... the beauty of the white natural sands spoiled by careless humans. We should be ashamed! No one wants to walk on top of sand that is full of old cig butts! It's nasty to think that you are touching someone else's trash, full of toxins and it totally spoils the beach experience for me.

  2. I think they need to bring back the captain planet cartoon. I remember watching that every afternoon and then while my grandma took me to the park, I made sure we picked up as much trash as we could. And I agree with the Cig butts thing. My next door neighbors all smoked like chimneys and there would be butts everywhere! I can't even count how many times I'd walk up to my door and find butts and beer cans lining my walkway. Gross.

  3. great post. i agree. nice research too interesting facts! im so proud of you for picking up garbage on the side of the street, you cute girl!

  4. This post was great! :) Love your blog.

  5. First off bad posture gives the picture character... and I just got a recycle bin!!! In fact we ended up having to get two cuz one wasn't enough!

  6. this is a great post =] I completely agree with you. I hate people littering. They have to live in it, why do they do it?!

    I admit a couple of weeks ago I left a banana peel under a bush because there was no bin anywhere, but I would never leave anything else! People who needlessly cut down trees are my other pet hate.

    Oh and I got one of your lovely hats in the mail today =] I have been a fox for the past few hours now. It is so lovely! Thankyou x

  7. Love love love this post! I HATE when people litter, I don't understand how they can do it! I believe that when we die we will not only be judged on how we treat ourselves and others, but how we treat animals and the Earth as well. This planet is a beautiful gift straight from God, so why would we want to destroy it?

  8. I absolutely love you and the way you think.
    I also hate people who litter, and I often pick up after them. I haven't walked around a park and cleaned up in a while! You inspired me though. I definitely want to clean up a little around my area. So I will soon.

    Me and my boyfriend love climbing trees haha. :) I need a friend like you, come to Canada?

  9. Yay for feeling connected. Yay for kindred spirits out there who care about earth as much as I do. You rock. It's strange to me that I think about every piece of garbage I throw away, yet a lot of people DON'T make the connection from our actions to the consequences for our home.

  10. Good for you! Keep doing what you are doing, and thank you for encouraging others to respect the earth also! It's the only home we have, and we must not destroy its beauty.

  11. Lovely photos, beautiful post.

  12. THANK YOU. This post is seriously awesome. Such a peeve of mine. I mean come on, its not THAT difficult. You're a great example Rach. Cute/beautiful pics as well!

  13. I enjoyed going through several of your posts You have a very interesting and unique blog. I enjoyed my visit very much. I have two blogs, one for art and one for sewing if you would like to come visit.



Thanks for leaving a comment!
Be sure to leave a link to YOUR blog so I can come say hi! xoxo