Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Stop Littering Now!!

“I did not drop it. It’s not my problem.”
“Who cares? I am here for a little while only.”
“No-one’s looking and the trash can is too far away.”
“What are sweepers for anyway?”

Littering is common and the evidence is everywhere around us. Have you been to park recently or a busy market area? Perhaps you have gone to the stadium to watch a Twenty20 match or visited a sick relative in the hospital? 

Do you know what all these places have in common? Lots of people come here for fun, work and entertainment and when they go back home, they leave behind a mountain of smelly trash and dirty rubbish behind them.

Our good and bad habits have a severe impact on our environment. Littering is a terrible habit and yet we do not seem to care. Go to any park and you’ll find apple cores, banana peels, orange rinds and melon skins that are left strewn around. These make the parks and gardens look like rubbish dumps instead of a recreational place where people go for health and refreshment. 

Go to any public place and you’ll find cigarette butts, broken bottles, plastic bags, sweets and chips wrappers, half eaten food and rotten fruits thrown carelessly on the ground, parking areas and sidewalks. What does all this tell us about our civic sense and social values? 

Many people think that it is all right to litter as it is the duty of sweepers to keep the area clean. Some think that since they are visiting for a few hours only, it does not matter what condition they leave the place in. Others feel too lazy to walk up to a trash can to deposit rubbish in it and some just do not think at all while tossing a sticky chewing gum or an empty juice bottle on the roadside.

Everywhere we go, we create a mess and we do it all the time without even thinking about our actions and its consequences. Trash that is left around to accumulate and rot attracts germs, flies, mosquitoes and rodents. Rotten fruits and decaying food stuffs give out toxins and bad odours which are extremely harmful for our health. But worst of all, it gives the entire area an untidy, smelly appearance which reflects badly on us individually and collectively as a nation.

10 things you can do to keep your surroundings clean:

1) The most obvious thing is not to litter and make a conscious habit of keeping your surroundings clean.

2) Politely stop your friends, school-fellows and adults around you if you see them littering. 
3) While travelling in a car or school bus, keep a bag with you to collect waste materials. Do not throw tissue papers or wrappers out of the car window.
4) When you go out for a trip or picnic, make an effort to collect all your trash and dispose it off in a trash can. 
5) Create awareness about dangers of littering by talking to your friends, younger siblings and cousins.
6) Do not make a tossing game of throwing trash in trash cans. If you miss, it leaves the garbage scattered around the bin which looks awful.
7) In school and office, keep a small tin on your desk to collect pencil shavings. Clean your desks regularly and do not wait for school sweepers to collect rubbish. 
8) Ask your art teachers/school authorities if you can have art competitions regarding this theme. Display your posters around the school boundary walls so that passers-by can learn about negative effects of littering.
9) You can form a club or a group (with permission from school and parents) to create art-work/posters and display it at shops, offices and mosques, wherever allowed, to create a mass awareness.
10) If you see an area where there are no trash cans installed or where filth and garbage has accumulated, bring it to the notice of concerned authorities. You can send letters and emails to newspapers regarding this issue. Do not give up before trying. 

If you think nothing will change, then nothing ever will.

Littering shows that people lack national pride and have little interest in preserving their environment and ecosystem. It is a fact that people usually do not feel guilty about littering in areas where garbage is already scattered around. 

So let us keep our roads, shopping areas, parks, schools, zoos, beaches, lakes, rivers and mountainsides in pristine condition so that no-one dares pollute them. 

The power to end littering is in our hands!

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