If you often see litter lying around your community, it can be frustrating, especially if you consider yourself someone who would never dare litter. Littering can have a big impact on your community if it becomes a recurring problem. Discarded trash can accumulate and cause water and soil pollution at the worst; at best, it’s still an eyesore. If you feel inspired to bring change to your area, here are some ways you can prevent littering in your community.
Check Your Own Footprint
Before anything else, check to make sure that your home isn’t contributing to the littering problem in any way. Sometimes, we don’t even know we’re littering when it happens. Make sure that your trash is secure when you put it out to the curb. Don’t overfill your trash cans and recycling bins so that the lid won’t close, as trash is more likely to fall out. Start your efforts by cleaning up trash around your own yard and disposing of it properly, even if it wasn’t you who put it there. Litter has a nasty tendency to get blown around in the wind, so even if we’re not responsible, it may end up in our own yards.
Spread the Word
The next step would be to take your reach further and start educating your friends, family, and neighbors. Bring the littering issue to light if they weren’t aware of it already. Then, you can teach them how they can help. Help them secure their garbage cans as well and correct them if they overfill them. Also, encourage them to pick up the litter in their own yards. From there, try to form a group to tackle community-wide littering issues together.
Volunteer for a Cleanup Event
One way to extend your reach to the community is to attend a cleanup day event. See if your community sponsors any trash cleanup days around areas that experience a lot of littering. This is a great way to clean up a lot of litter in a short period of time, preventing it from finding its way to waterways and parks. Encourage your family and friends to join you—the more hands on deck, the more trash collected.
If all else fails, try sending feedback to your community leaders. Write a letter or email to your community board addressing the issue. See if they’re already aware and what steps they might be taking, such as adding trash bins. If you need to report a recurring litterbug, you could even try contacting the local police office. And if you are an apartment dweller, you could contact your landlord to inform them and look for ways to manage litter in your building.
With these ways you can prevent littering in your community, you can do your part to help keep your area clean. By decreasing litter, we can help create a healthier environment one step at a time.