Garbage is big business. In fact, the money spent
on “picking up” garbage left behind in public places
such as parks, beaches, and forest land would pay
for highway repairs, and benefit schools all over the
country. America the Beautiful is fast becoming one
of unprecedented garbage problems. Trash from
car windows, in recreational places with garbage cans,
but somehow the trash misses and lands anywhere but
in the facilities provided, is still paid for with tax dollars.
Personal integrity is judged by more than the person
themselves. It is also in the immediate surroundings of
that individual. If you live with trash strewn all over your
living area, then well, basically you need to clean up
more than your back yard. Self-esteem reaches beyond
who we are to our priorities. Something as simple as
tossing that Mickey D’s wrapper and cup right out the
window displays a disregard for the highway used by
millions of others, but also for the workers who have to
clean it up. Their energy and pay check could be used
in other vital areas to benefit mankind in ways that picking
up after you just doesn’t “cut” it.
Forest lands are modern day garbage dumps. During the
summer months, the scars on the land are not quite as
visible, but come winter with the leaves down and trees
bare, the degradation of humanity is glaring. Abandoned
cars, kitchen appliances, and yes, even baby diapers that
just aren’t “biodegrading” fast enough are not views that
are displayed on travel brochures. Known as a
“throw away society”, America was also known as America
the Beautiful. Scenic places and tranquil lakes are now
plastic bag and water and pop bottle havens. Clean-up
is more than a volunteer and community activitiy, it is
expensive and time-consuming. Tax dollars are used
and those who care enough to use trash barrels and con-
tainers still pay just as much from their pay checks as those
who toss and abuse and just don’t care.
If the environment doesn’t tear at your heart, then maybe
your wallet will. Small steps such as garbage disposal could
mean the difference between more community activities and
better education, but it’s your choice. The next time you
roll down that window and toss, look in the back seat where
your child is. Their future costs money and would you rather
pay the salary to someone to clean up your disrespect or
see that your child gets the best in a school or sport activity?
It’s your call – but the heap is getting bigger.
Small steps for big results. One person can make a difference
and three steps to a trash can may look like pennies, but pennies
make dollars and dollars not only pay personal bills, but
government bills as well.
Something to think about.
©Arleen M. Kaptur