Saturday, 17 March 2012

Litterbugs are low-life ~

This evening I opened a window to the unexpected sound of breaking glass.  My first thought was that the neighbours must have dropped something out the back.  My second thought was: better check that they're (a) at home, and (b) okay.  I phoned them up.  They were watching rugby and nothing was amiss there.  Third thought: I Did Hear Breaking Glass - better look outside on the street.  It was already dark.  Pulling on my dressing gown I scooped up the torch and headed outside.  I shone the torch along the street.  And there it was: the smashed remains of a beer bottle, every edge jagged, and scattered precisely where a car-proud young neighbour usually parks his car.  He's out right now, which is just as well.

This sort of thing really gets me going.  The only way to beat it is to get rid of the troublesome remains immediately.  In I came for the straw broom and out I went to do battle.  I didn't care that I was out there in my dressing gown - someone might pull over at any moment and it would be curtains for their tyres.  Rewi came out too, to hold the torch and make sure I was okay.  It only took five or ten minutes and it was all cleared up.  We both felt better for having taken charge, and also from having helped to keep our street safe.  A sense of belonging comes from that.  

I find littering incomprehensible, and often pick up rubbish when I'm out - it's so ugly and unnecessary!  

It's a comfort to know that many other people feel the same way: 

When I read the article linked to below and readers comments it really warmed my heart and made me laugh.  What do you do when people chuck rubbish right where you are?  Read on:
The next story of two Rotorua men is inspiring: they've made an impressive commitment to picking up rubbish on roadsides around the Rotorua lakes, so it's hats off to them from me!  The item was aired on TV One on 24th April 2009 in the Good Sorts news slot.  The journalist was Hayden Jones.
Yes, picking up litter and getting rid of it is good, but every time I do so I wish I had the opportunity to pack it into the unmade beds of those who dropped it.  Grrr.....


Suzanne Papp said...

I think education helps a lot. If you were lucky enough to be taught by your parents as a child not to litter, then it seems completely natural to "hold it until you get to the can" (American pun on trash can and slang for toilet; doesn't work in N.Z. as you say rubbish bin and loo). When I was a child in the U.S. there were T.V. commercials and billboards reminding us not to litter. I hardly ever see these now. I think more education of the public would help the problem.

Leigh Christina Russell said...

Hi Suzanne,
I certainly agree about education, and here in NZ it is just as you describe in the US: we did have plenty of these campaigns when I was a child, but I hardly ever see anything of the sort these days.

'The can' has been slang for the loo here as well, but has long since faded out of common use. I would say that those younger than me probably don't know it.