Now that it is spring and the warm weather is coming on, there are more and more people out and about. A result of this is that there is more and more trash on the streets in my town. Littering is my one and biggest pet peeve. People who litter make me madder than a hornet but I am afraid to say anything to them for fear of getting shot. I frankly don’t understand why people leave their trash lying on my sidewalk and it gets me so mad everything I see it. I have been known to shout out expletive deletes and call people names when picking up other people’s candy wrappers, cigarette packs, and even crumpled up paper towels from my front walk.
As usual when I am struggling for an answer I turn to Google. I searched under the phrase “why people litter” and found some sites of interest. The first hit was a site in Arizona about litter called Don’t Trash Arizona. They basically concluded that people litter intentionally. According to them the most common demographic who litters are single men 18-34. That fits in my situation because those are the people I see walking down the sidewalk in front of my house. Also, apparently they don’t consider candy wrappers and cigarette butts litter. I suppose from a sociological standpoint these people feel justified in throwing their trash on people’s lawns because they are oppressed. Okay, maybe that’s pushing it, but think about it. If people think they are put upon by society maybe they are likely to say “F it”, and drop their trash because they want to anger others. Letting someone else clean up after them makes them feel important. I subscribe to you it’s not too far-fetched a reason.
So maybe that’s a better approach. Give these people jobs. Give them a reason to be happy with the community they live in. Help them to feel worthwhile. In affluent areas where there are higher levels of education and pride there is far less litter so to me that’s a possible answer. It’s a much harder situation to address but a better reason than nothing so I am sticking to it.