One way I admit I’m out of touch: I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t pick up litter all the time.

May 12, 2022 by Joshua
in Habits, Nature

Okay, I’m speaking a bit tongue-in-cheek because I know most people think what they do doesn’t matter and imagine touching anyone else’s litter risks keeling over and dying, or maybe gangrene and covid-19. People claim to be germaphobes and the like to excuse their inaction.

But I know there’s no risk if you just avoid dangerous things, which still leaves an infinite amount to pick up, so I discount their excuses as self-serving justifications.

After all, what would you rather do than live in a cleaner world? What would you rather do than help clean your world at zero cash cost, taking negligible time. Others will start to follow.

Throwing Out Garbage

The point isn’t that picking up litter cleans the world itself. It just shuffles waste around. It puts some of what would have gone directly into the ocean into landfills that will empty into the ocean when sea levels rise engulfs them in a few decades.

The point is that by connecting the litter you pick up to the coffee, chips, Amazon anything, and other sources of litter you fund. Then you learn to stop buying disposable stuff that becomes litter. Want to take years to fill up a load of trash in your home, as opposed to generating tons of it? Pick up litter. Then you’ll stop buying disposable and packaged things that create litter.

I see no benefit to passing it by without picking it up, at least a few pieces daily. I avoid things that are absorbent, wet, too little, or after I’ve picked up a few dozen pieces. These constraints still lead to a few dozen pieces most days, at a cost of maybe a few seconds daily.

Why don’t you pick up litter too? I’d love to hear about it leading you to buy less. In the meantime, I’ve lost touch with the feeling to avoid taking responsibility for cleaning the world for nearly no time or effort.

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