29 April 2009

Give a hoot, don't pollute

I went to return my library books the other day, and I spotted this bumper sticker (which I absolutely love) and it was a strange coincidence, because my co-worker and I had just been discussing littering. My office is at Innovation Park, which is basically a big circle. Lots of people, including me, go out and walk around the loop when we need a break from work. And there is always some kind of trash out there along the street. I notice this same phenomenon lots of places; I guess that’s why they have that adopt-a-highway program. And why you always see the prisoners in the stripe-y outfits and juvenile delinquents doing community service with a hefty bag and a trash-picking stick by the side of the road. But I have to wonder, who exactly are these people that just chuck their trash out of the car all willy-nilly?

It would never even occur to me to pitch my trash on the side of the road. I mean, maybe something biodegradable like an apple core or some peanut shells, but actual trash? Who does that? I’ve been known to pour out the dregs of a beverage by the side of the road, but I would never throw out the cup as well. I just don’t get this. Like if you are on a road trip and you have a bag of fast-food wrappers from a stop at the Taco Bell or whatever…can’t you just toss them into the back seat until you stop for gas? Do you really need them out of the car so badly that they have to leave the vehicle right that second? Garbage cans are ubiquitous. You can find tons of them at the gas station, the rest stop, the fast food restaurant, your home, your hotel, the tourist destination of your choice…just hold onto your trash until you get there, people.

And, while we are on the subject, don’t they still teach kids in school not to litter? I remember all kinds of anti-littering lessons delivered by Woodsy Owl. We even had to learn a song about him (which, surprisingly, I can find nowhere on the interwebs [to digress, I had this same problem when I tried to find a recording of the original version of Hey, Hey, Tampa Bay…the “The Bucs know how to shine” one from the ‘70’s, not the new one] sometimes the interwebs let you down. Especially on stuff like this from my childhood, when nobody had video cameras or VCRs.) I do remember that the song had the following lyrics “

"Give a hoot, don’t pollute.
Never be a dirty bird.
In the city or in the wood,
help keep America looking good”
If you ask me, that’s still a good lesson for today.


EDP said...

Oh, my. You took it WAY back!

Zil said...

Yeah, Woodsy was definitely from my pre-school and early elementary school years. (There are lots of pics of me as a young tot sporting outfits similar to those on the kids in the PSA) But, maybe that's why I don't litter...you've got plant these lessons in the kids' brains while they are too young to resist.