Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday #34- Pick Up Litter!

Make Today Matter... 

  • 180 million tons of trash is generated every year. 
  • Common litter includes cigarette butts, plastic bags, paper, candy wrappers, fast-food packaging, bottle caps, 6-pack can holders, glass bottles, and plastic straws.
  • Men and women are equally likely to litter.
  • People under age 15 are least likely to litter; people under the age of 25 are most likely to litter when in a group; and people over the age of 25 are most likely to litter when alone.
  • In one single day nearly 7 million pounds of litter were removed from beaches, lakes, and streams. 
  • Animals from nearly 300 species die from ingesting or getting entangled in marine debris annually. 
  • People litter because they:
- Don't think of the item as litter.
- View litter removal as someone else's responsibility.
- Lack knowledge about the environmental effects of their littering.

Take action today!
  1. Spend 1 hour today picking up litter. Or decide that every time you see a piece of litter today, you'll pick it up and throw it away.
  2. If you see someone litter, politely ask them to pick it up. Or pick it up yourself and maybe the person who dropped it will see you and get the hint.
  3. Organize a team of neighbors, friends, co-workers, or family members to pick up litter in a specific neighborhood for an hour. Bring rubber gloves and garbage bags and make it more fun by turning the cleanup effort into a game/contest.
  4. Enjoy making a difference, getting exercise, getting to know people better, and having cleaner surroundings.
You matter!
It's not community service, it's serving your community.

If every person picked up just 1 piece of litter today, there would be over 300 million fewer pieces of litter. If every person picked up 10 pieces of litter, there would be 3 billion fewer pieces damaging our environment. If you and your friends spend just 1 hour today picking up litter in your own neighborhood, you will not only pick up thousands of pieces of trash, you will also make a tremendous impact on your community.

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

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