Monthly Archives: September 2015
By Andrea Freedman
One sunny morning last week, I was taking a pleasant walk on my way to a meeting. I was thinking about how fortunate I was to be able to enjoy such a lovely day. The street was quiet, lined with houses displaying nicely manicured lawns, beautiful flowers, and a sense of pride in one’s home and neighbourhood.
My good mood was interrupted when I saw a woman blatantly toss a piece of garbage openly over her shoulder onto the sidewalk. What made it worse was the smug smile on her face while she was littering. She showed no remorse, even though she knew I had witnessed it. Rather, it was as if she was only too happy to have a chance to deface the street.
I was disgusted. When I have been with a friend who forgot themselves and “dropped” something on the ground, I picked up after the person and scolded them for their callous attitude, but all I did in response to this woman’s actions was shake my head and look at her subtlety but disapprovingly. After all, I thought, if she was of the mindset that she had so little respect for our city, and that she was laughing proudly about it, she might not be someone I wanted to get into an altercation with.
Nonetheless, seeing her lack of regard and selfishness as she dirtied the street saddened me. It also reminded me that, despite the crowds, constant construction and noise, I like my city and I take pride in my environment.
In the apartment building where I live, I am appalled and dismayed on a regular basis when I see flyers and even food items or containers left on the floors of the hallways or in common areas of the building. That to me shows a real lack of self-esteem, not to mention respect for others. This is our home and it is up to all of us to ensure that we keep it clean; same goes for our city streets and parks.
I don’t feel particularly comfortable or even safe about picking up used Kleenex or other such waste when I see it, mostly for sanitary reasons, but the least we can all do is not make things worse. Just because one person does it doesn’t make it right for the rest of us to follow such a poor example.
There are too many people who are quick to throw garbage where they shouldn’t. I acknowledge the fact that there is a lack of garbage cans along the streets. Instead of using that as an excuse to litter, I sometimes actually hold on to a piece of trash or even put it in my purse or bag until I can find somewhere to properly dispose of it.
Leaving food around brings bugs and other unwanted pests. Just because you are not at home (and who knows how people who litter keep their homes) does not mean we should all not do our parts by not littering.
We are lucky to live in a free country and in a city that employs people to maintain it. Throwing used Kleenex, food items or any other waste anywhere but in the trash is just plain rude and inconsiderate, whether you are out in public or sharing a common dwelling with others.
It is really not that difficult to keep our city clean and to show just a modicum of respect for those who do care about cleanliness and the surroundings in which we live, especially since doing so costs nothing and takes very little effort.
Throw debris in a trash can where it belongs, even if that means you have to wait until you find one; because let’s face it; any excuse for littering is just a bunch of garbage!♦
Copyright © by Andrea Freedman, 2015