Today I offer an anecdotal theory : There is a direct relationship between an improved economy and an increase in litter. The one constant in this unscientific experiment has been our property’s substantial road frontage. With 15 years of data to support this conclusion, here are some observations: certain brand smokers scrunch and toss their packages far more readily than other brand users. Chocolate milk drinkers litter at a 10:1 greater rate than white milk drinkers. And fans of the bigger drinks are bigger litter bugs. Countless 32+ oz cups have congregated along our yard’s edge.
A non-littering gene may be embedded into my DNA. Ever since I was a young child, conserving and trying to act as a steward of the earth has been my strong inclination. I believe I am physically unable to litter. Actually, I can be a bit like an evangelical environmentalist. Once I went up to car passengers who had just dumped an entire family’s fast food meal wrappers onto the parking lot. I picked up the trash, knocked on the window, and advised the carload that they must have accidentally mistaken the ground for a trash can. With the uptick in violence in our country, I have since stopped my direct confrontation of litter bugs. But I remain a trasher basher.
Back to the economy / litter relationship. Over the years, I have had to be a daily litter gitter during good economic times. When the economy in our area was stalled, especially around 2009 – 2013, the litter tapered off. The good news is the economy in our area looks to be on a major upsurge. The bad news, I’m picking up litter on a daily basis again. Go figure. I am happy to report that some ambitious, artistic individuals have truly turned trash into treasure.
And some of the art is “litterally” amazing!