Today I wanna write about the act of littering. The word “litter” when it’s used as a noun simply refers to a piece of rubbish or rubbishes (no plural for litter) found in a non-designated place, it also means the action of throwing the said rubbish In the place where it isn’t meant to be when it’s used as a verb. It is against the law to litter almost everywhere in the world, however, some people just can’t help themselves for doing so. Truth be told, I have littered once or twice in my life and by once or twice I don’t mean like Justin Bieber said, a couple of hundred times, maybe just more than twice. But I feel so bad about it and in hindsight, I kinda understood why I did so. The first reason was obvious, I couldn’t find any trash bin around. The second reason, to do more digging of myself in terms of psychologically speaking, I realized that I littered at the places where there was litter. It simply means that I conformed to what I have seen people around doing so. I mean, I wouldn’t have committed the crime if there was absolutely no litter found. Or in other words, I wouldn’t have littered in an absolutely clean place. Of course, I regret my action and if I could turn back time knowing that litter could bring some bad consequences to the mother earth, I wouldn’t even try to do so.
Let me just list out what I think and also researched about why people litter in the first place.
- They, like me, couldn’t find a nearby trash bin (but that’s no longer gonna be my reason, it’s just an excuse, considering how Japanese can keep Japan clean without having any trash bin found in most places).
- (And for the places that do have trash bins) They are lazy to walk to the trash bin.
- The trash bin is full. They got nowhere to dispose of the trash.
- They eat outdoor and the restaurants don’t provide them with ashtrays.
- They think flicking the cigarette butts is a cool thing to practice. Oh please, smoking is not cool by itself already, don’t make non-smokers hate you more. Look up to those Japanese smokers who carry with them a little ashtray bag (you can get one from Daiso), also do as my friend, Cady.
- They think it’s okay to do it since many people have done it (usually in the same areas).
- They don’t value the public spaces.
- They couldn’t care less about the hygiene in the public spaces.
- They are drunk at the time.
- They think no one will ever find it in the ocean.
- They think that they can get away with the crime and they did get away before.
- They think they’re leaving a legacy (and these people are just on the extreme end – neurotic).
There are two types of villains in this particular topic: 1. Those who litter, 2. Those who don’t bother to pick up litter when they see one. So now I wanna write about why people don’t pick up litter.
- They think it’s not their job, they think it’s in the janitors’ job scope, it’s the cleaners’ problem, or in the restaurants, it’s the waiters or waitresses’ job.
- “It’s so dirty, I don’t wanna touch them!”
- “I didn’t litter, why should I pick it up?”
- They think for whatever reason, the act of bending and picking up the trash would ruin their reputation.
This short list might not be exhaustive but I think many people can relate to them. I for one will definitely agree with the second bullet point. I remember working in the schools, I saw a lot of litter but if I didn’t have a hand sanitizer with me then or that I wasn’t free to go to the washroom, I would not have picked up those trashes. In my or a lot people’s defense, it’s really disgusting and not hygienic to pick up the used tissue or an empty can. God knows who was the one using it and what did this person use it for. I remembered using a piece of clean tissue just to pick up the dirty trash and throw them away. I literally created another trash for the mother earth just to eliminate one. My conscience wouldn’t let me go, I always feel a deep sense of responsibility to keep my environment clean but I honestly had no idea how to do so on the dirty street without my hand sanitizer or a sink to wash my filthy hands. But I gotta keep doing it, so I did some thinking, apart from carrying a hand sanitizer in my bag all the time, I will also bring along a pair of salad tongs particularly for this purpose: Gotta keep picking up the trash because if I don’t, who will? Speaking of who will, I am so glad that I now know who will, but I also wanna be a part of this group of amazing people who developed an app just to keep our planet clean and trash-free.
This app I mentioned is known as Litterati, its slogan – A Litter Free World. Just imagine, what a great world that would be. This app is inspired by a man’s two kids who asked him to pick up a trash, you can watch him giving a speech about this app with the link below:
So if you’re reading this, I wanna encourage you to download this app and start participating in a beautiful plan in literally making this world a better place, without any more litter. Because like I said, I once littered because I saw somebody did, that’s conformity, if you start picking up a trash, someone else will follow. There is absolutely nothing wrong with picking up the trash and there’s no need to be humiliated or feel embarrassed for doing so. In fact, it’s a shame to those who litter. And if you make a particular area spotless and litter-free, I’m sure it’ll take a lot of guts from someone to start littering there again. It doesn’t need to take the taxpayer’s money (or your money to be exact) for the government to hire a bunch of street cleaners, it only needs you, your hand sanitizer and a willingness to pick up a trash and throw it in a designated place, preferably not with your hands, not even with the plastic gloves but with a pair of salad tongs.