Be a Litter Quitter

Sep 11th, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Life on a rural county road has numerous benefits. Tranquility, little traffic, reduced pollution and noise, no sirens, and few neighbors. My “Walden Pond’ is an idyllic place. A friend says that if they would just pave the road gold, that runs alongside his acreage, he wouldn’t have to die and go to heaven.

In spite of all that, there are a few downsides. One is the amount of litter that accumulates in a half mile stretch from one end of the roadside to the other. It is this stretch that I have chosen to adopt. No sign indicates that it is my role and responsibility to keep it free of litter. But, faithfully, every Monday, which is garbage collection day, I choose to hop into my golf cart to scour the area. Frequently, I find a dozen cans and bottles, an occasionally empty cigarette package, a few Big Gulp containers and sundry other items.

Once I decided to post signs at both ends of the roadway. They read: BE A LITTER QUITTER. It seems to have worked. The volume of litter has been reduced, even though the signs are no longer posted.

I think the absence of litter gets some folk’s attention. I think they notice, often at a sub conscious level, that the roadway looks better absent any litter. It may be that there is a small nudge of conscience that helps folk decide not to toss it out the window, but to wait until one can put it in a trash container.

The official state motto for discouraging litter in Texas is “Don’t Mess with Texas.” Signs remind us of that on state and national highways. But, for those who travel the back roads, we are left to our own initiatives to keep the litter down. Once in awhile, a judge will impose a parolee to community service cleaning up county roadways. It works and helps a lot.

Wherever you live I hope you will encourage your neighbors, by your example, to “be a litter quitter.”



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