The environment’s one of the most pressing issues of the day. Part of the reason comes from the fact that it impacts so much of our daily life. It’s hard to go to any news source without hearing about the global impact of litter.
For example, the great pacific garbage patch covers an esimated 617,000 square miles. Contrary to popular perception, it’s not a solid mass. But instead it consists of garbage which has in large part been broken apart by the ocean’s pressures. That said, it’s no less damaging for that fact. It can even be worse in some respects because wildlife can swim or eat from that area. In doing so they take various sludges or plastics into their system. And the end result will often come right back to people in the form of contaminated food products. And that’s not even touching on the impact litter has on a local level.
We depend on the news to tell us about global pollution. But we just have to look around to see how it impacts our towns and cities. People who live in larger areas such as Chicago can attest to how quickly litter builds up. One of the more worrisome parts of this buildup comes from personal responsibility. Talk to almost anyone and they’re strongly against litter. Everyone seems opposed to the idea of their home city becoming more and more dirtied over time. Even fairly carefree people will sigh at the thought of trash blowing all over the streets and sidewalks. And nobody wants to look out onto their lawn and see it covered in trash.
So where does the litter come from? If everyone hates litter than why does it keep building up? The answer is that litter is often created unintentionally. A high percentage of the litter we see in public wasn’t just thrown on the ground. Instead it tends to simply run off from improperly secured receptacles. Basically, trash cans and other receptacles are filled up. And somewhere between that point and movement to an outside location the trash falls out and onto the street.
This is an unfortunate situation in many ways. But there is one ray of hope in there. It means that personal actions can easily make a big impact on the local litter problem. For example, consider how much a small business owner could do on both a personal and professional level. To begin with, when he’s at work he could use a dumpster rental Chicago style to ensure everything actually is properly disposed of. And when he’s at home he can use more firmly secured garbage bins. He might even make note of how they hold up to harsh winds and start weighing down the lids if it’s clear trash is escaping during storms.
All of this points to ways in which everyone can help decrease the amount of trash in their city. And in turn, by focusing on lowering the amount of trash in our cities we can lower the amount of litter in the whole world. It might seem like a small step at first. But it’s a huge push to a brighter future when one considers that effort multiplied by hundreds of thousands of other people.