It is that time of year again when we throw off the heavy coats and we go out and
explore our surroundings. We walk, we drive, we bicycle and some of us even run.
All of us, at one time, or another becomes a wanderer, a tourist, so it is that
time again to review the etiquette of being out and about.
My pet peeve is garbage, and as someone who has spent the last few years picking
up the refuse left behind on a daily basis (spring, summer and fall) I can speak
as an expert on this subject. "What are you people thinking"?
Water bottles, Tim Horton's coffee cups, Mackie's orangeade and French fry containers
- to soiled baby diapers and used condoms...beer cans and bottles, drinking straws,
tea bags, chocolate wrappers, potato chip bags, plump full dog poop baggies...the
list goes on and on...I pick them up. And, I repeat, "What are you people thinking"?
Sometimes it is obvious that some of you have just opened your car door (often within
easy reach of a garbage can) and emptied the contents of your vehicle onto the ground
before driving off...cigarette packs, Kleenex, coffee cups, a crumpled paper bag
from a fast food joint full of paper/containers and uneaten food. It lies in a pile
attracting ants, and seagulls. Take it home or please put it in a garbage can. Where
do you think it goes? Do you want to park beside and step into someone else's mess?
Other times I have no idea how the mess got spread across the parking lot...racoons
I have picked doggy bags out of bushes/trees, tall grass, and behind buildings or
even hidden in rocks...the happy pet owner who acts like they are good citizens
when people are watching has no problem ditching their load in a second when nobody
is looking. Again, please take it with you or put it in a garbage can. Yes, it is
smelly and gross but it's your dog (not mine) and it's part of pet ownership. You
do know that it doesn't easily biodegrade in that plastic bag, right?
Everyone loves a snack to take on a walk or bicycle ride and carrying around an
empty chip bag, chocolate/energy/high fibre bar wrapper, paper coffee cup is so
onerous that the path seems like the perfect place to drop it....are you nuts? I
can't believe the number of water bottles ditched along the highway by bike riders.
I earn about $100.00 a year sorting the beer cans and bottles thrown out of car
windows on the way in/out of our town. Then, there are the fishermen that indulge
in a beer or two while fishing on the rocks. They either smash the glass bottles,
or drop the containers down into the rocks (along with worm containers and food
wrappers). I don't need the money people...take your empties/trash to the nearest
garbage can...and don't drink and drive! Kids like to fish too and broken glass
is a hazard...please leave them if you must and I'll gladly recycle them.
You love the beach and you have everything you could possibly want...lotion, snacks,
drinks, toys, umbrella, chairs, blanket...believe it or not the beach has garbage
cans for your use. Take that broken chair/umbrella and put it beside the can (or
take it with you). The next person taking your spot doesn't want to sit in your
food waste, empty lotion containers, and holes the kids have filled with junk.
So my message is "Have fun but think about other people – clean up after yourself.
Take it with you if you can't find a garbage can to put it in...don't be lazy".
Everyday is Earth Day.
Elizabeth Hudson - Port Stanley