The last few times I went for a walk, I had it in mind to take a trash bag--and forgot. Littering's been on my mind lately, though, so when I went out today, I actually remembered a bag.
Right along the walking trail was not so bad. Bits of candy wrappers and old tattered plastic bags, mostly. A couple of tennis balls, three golf balls. Just off the trail, however, was another story--plastic bottles, beer cans, more plastic bags, more candy wrappers, Styrofoam cups, bits of Styrofoam cups, broken bits of kids' toys. Few of the items were very big, but when they were all put together, they filled most of my bag.
I guess I'm just an idealistic tree-hugger, but how much would it take for each person to do just a little bit? Start with the matter of not littering. Honestly, a small candy wrapper could certainly be shoved in a pocket until the next trash can (which, by the way, there were at intervals along the trail). Likewise, a plastic bag could be crumpled up and stashed in a pocket or backpack or knapsack or whatever. And for those who are not necessarily litter bugs themselves, how about just picking up one piece of litter on a trip? Just. One. Candy wrappers are generally in bright, obnoxious colors and therefore easily spotted. It doesn't take a lot of exertion, and once you've done that, there's one less piece of litter on the ground. If each person picked up one piece of trash on each trip they're outside, it could make a significant dent.
I try not to get soapbox-y with my hippie-ish ways. I just think this is a matter of common decency. Honestly, the kids these days...