Naturally, Garbage.

I find it essential that we take the time to realize our planet will persevere regardless of whether or not we choose to poison our air and water ways. The planet provides for us but will not protect us from ourselves. Earth will still be floating in space for a long time after the human race has committed Seppuku.

Stop photo-shopping trash out of pictures. Humans need to realize how disgusting we are and the effect that we’re having on our planet. Did you know that the pyramids are typically covered in garbage? A lot of times it’s photo-shopped out for magazine and postcard images but there are literally dust devils full of plastic/Styrofoam waste nearby.

We, as humans, know this but it feels so overwhelming that we’re not sure about how to get rid of it all. A few of us can’t do it alone, thirty of us can make a difference but it’s going to take every one of us to make a change. Pollution problems aren’t going away any time soon, but they can be reduced and maybe we can stop the bleeding.

Can someone tell me what the fuck do you need a plastic straw for? The other day I saw a video from National Geographic of a plastic straw being removed from a sea turtle’s nasal cavity. It was one of the most brutal and sad things I’ve ever seen. The turtle was writhing in pain from the removal process. Now I avoid using them and will start asking restaurants to not give them to me . Seriously, shitty, one-time use invention. Millions of them in our landfills and oceans though, never to be used again.

The more I walk places, the more I’m awakened to how disgusting we are and how filthy our world has become. In our cars, we’re numb to it. Going too fast to see the garbage or not having to move around or smell it. Just run it over and pass it by, unfazed. We hate skunks being run over is because of the smell. Skunk smell invades our protected little sanctuary that is our vehicle and it reminds us that things are happening outside. Do we have to guess why the skunks hate being run over?

I grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas and remember the smell of the Trinity River. Honestly, I don’t spend a lot of time in the area anymore so I can’t say if it still smells but damn it used to. Those of us who live and grew up here know how nasty the Trinity River smelled a lot of times. Everyone hated that smell and some of us had to smell it everyday, chances are those people are  gagging at the thought of it. Yet, majority of people only complained about the smell and didn’t work towards fixing the problem. Can we still complain if we’re not working on the problem?

Take a 15-30 minute walk. Not in a park but down the street, on the block or any of the places people live together. Pay attention to the ground and what can be seen while walking. Witness how filthy we are as a species. Cleaning up after ourselves should be a priority one for each and every person. There are some of us out there so proud of where we’re from, yet many others trash the place and we let them get away with doing so. Best way to represent a town is by keeping it nice. Think twice about throwing trash out of the window and make sure to embarrass the ones caught doing it.

Not only is this about awareness but enforcement and punishment. Many people right now are trying to eliminate bullying and shaming, but we just need to use it differently. What we need to do is give these practices a proper target. Shame and bully the litter bugs, the filthy motherfuckers we see on a regular basis. Embarrass them. Put their picture up on the web with a caption that says “I’m a filthy, littering scumbag,” or something of that nature.

Police are quick to write a ticket for someone going a few miles over the speed limit. Easy targets as far as I’m concerned. I want an entire unit focused on trash and garbage. If a business is filthy around the property, especially if the trash in question originated from their location, they’re issued a fine. They will say they can’t control what people do on their property and this is true, however, they at least need to keep track of license plates and turn those disgusting people in. Maybe not a fine, but a reward. Like a Crimestoppers for littering.

Security cameras used to turn in litterbugs sounds crazy, I know. We have to DISCOURAGE this behavior or else it’s not going to get better. Now, is making the companies responsible the best solution? I don’t know. Maybe it’s not but the solution can start with them. We should fine companies whose garbage is found in the streets. This may very well put pressure on them to come up with better solutions to the problem of litter. Encourage them to go more biodegradable or environmental. The amount of McDonald’s trash or Walmart shopping bags I see on a 30 minute walk through my neighborhood is ridiculous.  My mother used to tell me stories about spending her childhood barefoot. Hell, I won’t even go to my mailbox barefoot. Let it be said that I’m no saint. I wasn’t always so environmentally conscious but since I’ve begun spending more time outside this has become something that has pissed me off to no end.

I’ve been trying to understand why people think this is okay. How they can just ignore their impact on the world around them. Then again, what should I expect from people who probably don’t even clean their homes. Litterbugs more than likely live in filth within their four walls and therefore accept it as normal. Well, it’s not normal. We need to let them know that they’re gross and this behavior is not tolerated.

I wonder if going to back to treating Nature as sacred as our ancestors once did would help. Revering the soil, trees and water as part of the invisible beings to which you pray could make all the difference.


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