Friday, July 6, 2012
You are what you throw out your car window
I've made it my personal agenda to do my part and keep my neighborhood litter-free. If I see a piece of garbage on the street, I stop my car and pick it up. I guess it makes me feel good about myself. But every time I pick a fast-food wrapper or beer can off the pavement, I try to picture the person who'd actually litter. There is nothing trashier than heaving your junk out the car window for someone else to deal with. I say this because I see the same beer cans in the same places every day as I drive by, and it’s me and the rest of my neighbors who have to deal with it. I know whoever is doing this is doing it every day. Wow.
But it’s not just litterbugs that get me. The other day I went out to lunch at Mr. Subb. When I went to throw out my bottle, I asked the girl working cashier where the recycling box was. She said there wasn’t one, just throw it away. I asked her if she stood there all day and watched people throw out recyclables in the regular garbage. She shrugged and said "yep." I refused to throw out any of our plastic bottles. So I carried them back to work and recycled them there. Is recycling the biggest scam in the world? Probably. I don't know if the recycling people actually separate the stuff we put in that "other" garbage can for weekly pickup, or if they just dump it all somewhere as is. Who knows? But you DON’T at least try to recycle?
Look at the grocery stores and all-purpose stores. Why plastic bags? Just stop making them. Paper, people, paper. It takes a thousand years for plastic bags to decompose. The other day I went to Wal-Mart, bought three items. The cashier used three plastic bags to bag these minor items. I couldn't believe it. There's nothing you can do with plastic bags. You can't recycle them. Just get rid of them in stores. It's OK, I'll pay two dollars more per shopping trip for paper.
I believe there should be a serious-serious penalty for anyone caught littering: fines, community service, the E! Channel blocked on your TV. Every time I pluck a Taco Bell bag out of a roadside gulley, I just wish I could meet the person who did it and ask: what is wrong with you? Don't you know how good we've got it right now, living in America in 2012? There's no better place on Earth. We have High-Def TV, Disney World, and Tom Coughlin. Ours is the best life going. Take a drop of pride, please.
It’s kind of a karma thing too. You can’t bulldoze your way through this world, bringing havoc to every place you go. There has to be a natural payback for that at some point. Maybe I pick up litter and recycle out of fear of what I just cited, or maybe I do it to feel better. But I’m sorry, if you litter you’re a criminal.