Why don’t you pick it up?

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Why don’t you pick it up?

Share The Wild Side

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

We have three kinds of people on this wonderful planet. We have people who will throw trash aimlessly without a thought in mind. We have those who care and know that throwing trash is a problem and seek to fix it by blaming others. We have the few ones, who will pick it up and make the place much cleaner than they found it.

The aimless trash throwers

Anyone who thinks space anywhere is fit to be made dirty needs a lesson or two. In fact, many lessons on the effect of that small wrapping paper to the environment. Even though we do have departments in our counties meant to clean our mess up, why can we not be responsible citizens? Thrash throwers, whether they are driving or walking, can be annoying. I believe I’m not the only one who gets aggravated when the car in front of you decides the sidewalk and sometimes even the road is the perfect dustbin. When you see someone comfortably throw trash next to you. When the person sitting next to you in a public transport vehicle calmly throws trash out the window. And there you are filled with rage. Keep calm, be realistic, genuine and explain to the said person/s your point of view and why throwing trash in undesignated areas is uncivilized.

These type of people tend to do it so comfortably that is has become a habit. So what can be done about this? Scientists have proven to overcome a bad habit; we need to replace it with a good one. For malevolent trash throwers, one such option could be to introduce beautiful trash throwing incentives such as getting tokens when trash is thrown in the designated place. Over time, the habit will have been changed and we can have less roadside and street trash throwers.

Laws like this exist

Let’s blame someone or something

When you see someone throwing trash away and choose not to do anything at that particular point but when the discussion on such societal behaviours crop up and you choose to blame others, you are the problem.

You choose to observe and save your wrath for people whom you believe think on the same level as you. The discussion ends as it had started and nothing actually happens. You resort to blaming the government, the county council, the garbage collectors even up to the parents. My point of view, you are just speaking garbage.

Yes, you are aware that throwing trash is wrong. You even know the impacts of aimless trash throwing not only to the environment but our health as well. You are aware of how fast diseases can spread just by blocked drains caused by roadside trash. You are aware of the wildlife that is being killed slowly due to pollution caused by that one wrapping paper that was thrown and doubled over time. But all you do is choose to blame. You can say that is wrong but think about what you are doing right yourself.

With such knowledge what you can do as a diligent citizen is teach and be an example. Whether someone will not take it lightly that is not your problem. It never was.

I can pick it up

This may sound easy. Picking up what someone else has thrown! Why would you even do it? Well, clean-ups, whether alone or in a group is one step ahead. Unfortunately, such people are few in our present lives. When was the last time you went out of your way to make a place much cleaner? When was the last time you picked up trash someone in front of you threw and there was a dustbin a few meters away? Have you ever done it? Can you say how many times you have taken part in a clean-up activity? I did not understand why we do cleanups and pick up other people’s messes. But then again, when clean-ups are done as consistent and aggressive as they need to be, we will eventually see less trash on our streets. The ‘aimless trash thrower’ can even be embarrassed to throw their trash on a clean road or sidewalk. The ‘let’s blame someone’ will be motivated to take part. Yes, we cannot change other people, but we can choose to change ourselves and leave the planet better than we found it. It starts with you. It starts with us.

Why don’t you pick it up?

Featured image source.

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Share The Wild Side
Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui is a believer in all things beautiful. A believer in spreading information in regards to environmental awareness. A believer in sharing all that is good in Kenya's natural world. A believer in speaking truth with no boundaries. Do you have a story, photo, experience or message you need to share? Send your work to vicki@nyikasilika.org or vickiwangui26@gmail.com.

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