Sunday, August 02, 2009

No Ifs, Ands, or Butts


Today was a wandery sort of day and we ended up on a beach on local Pelican Lake. It's a lovely beach; sandy and shallow, and today it was nearly empty except for a few swimmers and an Osprey out fishing. (he caught one too, a big one, good on ya Osprey!)

As I took off my shoes and settled down in the sand to watch the boys enjoy the water, my eyes fell on a cigarette butt that had been discarded in the sand. I turned my head and there was another, and another... they were everywhere. It angers me. It angers me to look around at this lovely beach knowing full well that there are both garbage cans and a designated "smokers' station" a few short feet up the boardwalk and that these people couldn't be bothered to pick up after themselves. It angers me that on a perfectly lovely afternoon, while my kids were playing in the waves, I was picking up someone else's mess, but that's what I did. I made a box out of a piece of paper that we had in the stroller and carried loads of butts up to the garbage cans. I couldn't help but wonder how many more had found their way into the water and how many more were under the sand, and how many more will be there when I return.

So a plea...if you smoke, pick up your butts. If you drink, pick up your bottle caps. If you eat, pick up your wrappers. If you come to place that's beautiful, keep it beautiful. Leave it better than you found it. Encourage others to do the same. Don't think it's someone else's job. It's yours. It's ours. No ifs, ands, or buts.

9 comments:

Tumus said...

I whole-heartedly agree. Often times when we go canoeing on one of our local rivers I end up taking one of our plastic bags and filling it with the trash other people have tossed on to the banks and sandy islands. It's annoying that people can't just keep it in their canoe till they get back...it's just lazy. As my brothers Boy Scout Troop used to intone, "Pack in, Pack it out. Leave no footprint."

Brittany Noel said...

What happened to "leave no trace"??? I end up doing the same thing as you did, picking it all up and grumbling under my breath and cursing the world for not teaching them better. It's lazy, inconsiderate and just plain mean.

Jemjoop said...

Too right! That really irks me as well. I'll never forget walking behind a family of four and an adolescent girl 13/14-ish unwrapped an ice cream and just threw the wrapper on the ground and kept walking. Who does that?!

And people that throw things out of cars onto the road are just ridiculous.

I've taught my boys that if they don't have anyplace to throw something away, to put it into their pocket until they find a garbage.

Thanks for beautifying that beach!

Lisa at Lil Fish Studios said...

It's been my habit to pick up garbage whenever I see it, and I've done it for years. Today though, for whatever reason, it really got to me. I'm glad you all feel the same way though, that gives me hope.

the nest said...

thank you! for your words and actions - we all need to be more aware of our impact and take responsibility.

our house is on a busy road and i pick up trash someone tossed from their car in front of our house regularly. "someone lives here, you know!" i mutter to myself.

Katie said...

I hear ya!
We just got back from our other place. Our land has a small lake on it and it's on top of a mountain. My husband partied there when he was in boarding school, so it has a long history of people hanging out there. That's fine, but I am sick of picking up cigarette butts, cans, broken bottles, fish hooks etc, etc, etc. I don't understand what goes through people's heads! We've gotten to the point where we don't want anyone there; not that we can stop it, but come on folks!

Sonia said...

I'm so behind you, my friend, it's just pain disgusting cleaning up after rude people leaving wastes behind them. You can be proud, because I really am of you. :) And so are your little ones, that's how children (teen to be then grown ups to be) should be taught. You are a wonderful mama, woman & human being, Lisa. Thanks for being you. xoxoxoxo

Nicomi "Nix" Turner said...

Lovely~

ecokaren said...

I share your anger. I was in FL in June when I saw this family of ducks and duckling around a lake. I went up close to watch them and all I saw around the lake was a litter of plastics everywhere. I took pictures and put them on my blog to show how insensitive humans can be. Here there are these baby ducklings and ducks in the lake and human garbage everywhere.

We can be totally clueless as to our actions. We need to change. Now.

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