by Amy Lignor
It is an absolute truth that right now there are huge projects going on across the country in the areas of renewable energy sources; building grand solar power and wind power facilities to help taxpayers save money and help ecosystems thrive. There are water projects, wastewater management services – and the list goes on. But what about the small stuff that’s ruining everything?
It was just this past weekend that this writer was struck unaware and completely sickened when she walked through one of the largest cities in this, our United States, and only saw litter, garbage and trash everywhere the eye could see.
Downtown Los Angeles is referred to as the Financial District by some. This, most likely, gives an Easterner the belief that you’re walking ‘Wall Street West.’ This is beyond untrue. There are some huge department stores and swanky, high-priced nightclubs, as well as beautiful historic hotels, the STAPLES center, the USC campus, the Rose Garden – some truly beautiful things. However, these beautiful things go straight down the tubes as you do walk by to enjoy all they have to offer and only see the bulk of children and adults throwing their trash in the street (not to mention, straight into The Rose Garden bushes and other areas without even thinking twice.)
I won’t even get into the ‘down-and-out’ sitting outside almost every building begging for handouts, or screaming for you to give them a cigarette, etc.. This is not an article to whine and moan about people needing jobs. But the complete impoliteness when it comes to everyone you pass – natives, mostly, because the tourists are actually still interested in bringing their politeness with them if they’ve come from such a place – and the constant watching of cups, plastic, napkins, you name it – being tossed without a thought in the world as to whether or not they could have hit one of the gazillion garbage cans that are offered on almost every corner, all adds up to nothing but a gross, disgusting trip.
There are better areas of the city, I grant you. And there is also ‘Skid Row,’ I grant you that. But when it comes to a tourist area…Hello??? Lists are out there across the internet; easy suggestions on how you can stop littering and help make your community cleaner – no matter what city your neighborhood happens to be located in.
The largest suggestion for me is to set an example by not littering yourself. Just like it is with people complaining about their children being on their cell phones or Facebook every five minutes, only to then see the parents pull out the cell phone and stay on Facebook for hours – the children I saw littering were basically following suit. Men and women my age would simply throw everything they had out on the ground, or leave it on an outside table for it to float away into the natural environment.
Picking up litter from your street – or even in front of your business – is yet another easy one. In smaller neighborhoods where people actually still speak with one another, asking neighbors to properly dispose of their trash is also something that can be done. You can carry a litter bag in your car – especially on long trips to L.A. where you build up your own pile of garbage and do not wish to simply heave it out the door.
As it is with The Rose Garden and other stunning locales, you could ask people to help, or at least show them what the difference is between a clean area and a gross one by doing it yourself.
I already know the answer to the last one. “Why bother? These people don’t care.” Maybe you’re right. Maybe they’ve lived in such a world so long it simply doesn’t matter anymore. However, one person can make another one do something; they can spread a message instead of spreading a line of garbage and litter wherever they go.
Most all business’s I saw, as well as the historic areas had trash cans out front, as well as ashtrays in order to help people stop littering. There were signs about the environment, etcetera. Yet the people who don’t care and litter anyway are also standing in the same line as others who are complaining that the environment is falling apart because people don’t care anymore.
According to a California taxpayer, they each pay about $1,000+ per year just to have trash picked up; which does not count monthly trash collection. What’s the total cost of litter pickup? It’s pretty astounding when you look at the fact that Roadside Litter Pickup does not include: Lost tourist revenues (which they will continue to have because the city is becoming something out of one of the hideous/broken-down movie scenes they shoot there; recycling fees, lost business revenues because tourists do not want to stay in these areas, and more.
Perhaps talking isn’t enough anymore to get people to see the light. Perhaps it is time to simply reject areas until they realize that they need to get it together in order for anyone to ever want to visit their city, neighborhood or community again.
Until Next Time, Everybody,