It is sad to think that in the modern age we are living in, that litter is still one of the greatest man-made pandemics. We are shedding light on litter and exploring why communities do it, why it should be stopped, and offering top tips for preventing litter in our local Kloof area.
Why is there so much litter?
Littering, or the act of not littering, is a learned behaviour and part of a life-lesson that needs to be taught from a young age. People who litter may not care about the consequences of their actions and the eye-sore it creates in the immediate area, or the threat it causes to the environment. But more than likely, litter bugs are simply ignorant and oblivious to the fact that it is not an acceptable behaviour. We take for granted that our parents and grandparents may have taught us from tiny that we should not leave our rubbish lying around and that the place for unwanted items is the dustbin. Some people have not been formally taught this. This is why it is so crucial to keep instilling it in our youth both at home and in schools and educational facilities.
Another alarming fact about litter is that some people believe that by tossing trash on the floor, they are creating jobs for people. Again, this is something that needs to be formally addressed in schools in order to begin to change this kind of mindset.
How to stop littering in communities
Education is key, but if you are reading this and you know you do not litter, there are still ways in which you can lend a hand and combat litter within your community. Give up some of your precious time and do a community clean up – we often call for volunteers to help us at TKP (Contact us for details on how you can help with this). Get together with your neighbours and do a sweep around the block, picking up litter on the road and curbside around your homes, or why not try plogging? Plogging is the act of jogging with a plastic bag in hand and stopping to pick up litter every time you see some. (Please do wear gloves for this.)
Who is more likely to litter?
At the risk of pointing fingers, we thought we’d share some interesting research with you. According to studies, older people are more likely to litter when alone. Men litter more than women. Women use bins more than men. In a group of ten people in a public place, seven out of ten will find a dustbin and throw their rubbish away in the correct manor.
Why should littering be stopped
Litter is a breeding ground for many germs and pathogens, making it unsafe for humans and animals to be around. A lot of the litter from our cities is washed into storm water drains, and eventually, into our oceans, causing a massive pollution problem and literally and metaphorically choking our ocean life.
Make sure you’re following our Facebook and Instagram pages to keep up to date with our regular community litter drives. If you have a contact at a school in the area, please consider trying to arrange some community service at the school, whereby the students can volunteer to do an hour or two litter blitz. Or simply donate to The Kloof Project so we can keep Kloof beautiful, clean, and tidy on your behalf.
What are some of the ways in which you try and prevent litter? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.