I am old enough to remember the anti-littering ads that showed a Native American with tears in his eyes as he surveyed a trash-strewn landscape. It is my understanding that the ads made an impact, however briefly. Clearly, both the ads and their impact are relics of the distant past.I have never understood why people litter.
I just don't get it. It does not take that much more effort to put your fast-food containers in a trash can than it does to throw them out the window (and it is easier on your shoulders) or to wait until you get home to dump your cigarette butts. Littering makes a statement. It says that you don't respect your neighbors, your community, or yourself. I don't know the origins of this lack of respect or why it persists. However, we cannot continue to accept it as if litterers just can't help themselves. They can and they should.
A group I belong to has adopted a highway. Folks I know have adopted other stretches of road to pick up after those who treat the highway as their own personal trash receptacles. I sometimes feel as if we are enabling laziness. I think it is ridiculous that highways have to be adopted because people expect someone else to pick up after them. Four-year olds can barely get away with that; anyone older needs to face consequences.
I don't know the answer. Education? Fines? Suspended drivers' licenses? While I would support all of these measures, I recognize that implementation is problematic. So, I am open to suggestions.