ANN BAILEY: Litter bugs meWhen I was in grade school in the late ‘60s, Lady Bird Johnson’s Beautification of America crusade and her and campaign against “litter bugs” was going strong. Between Ladybird and my parents, who taught me it was everyone’s responsibility to be a good steward of the outdoors, I grew up believing that “every litter bit hurts.”
By: Ann Bailey, Grand Forks Herald
When I was in grade school in the late ‘60s, Lady Bird Johnson’s Beautification of America crusade and her and campaign against “litter bugs” was going strong. Between Ladybird and my parents, who taught me it was everyone’s responsibility to be a good steward of the outdoors, I grew up believing that “every litter bit hurts.”
I knew that trash along the roadway is not only unsightly, but that it can cause problems for wildlife that get entangled in it or ingest it. I would no more have thrown trash out the window of the car in which I riding than I would have jumped out myself.
My husband and I have taught our children to have the same respect for the environment whether they’re on the farm, riding in a car or walking down streets in town.
That’s why my daughter, Ellen, was just as dismayed as I was the other day when we were going for a walk with her dog, Rosebud, on the road west of our house and came upon several empty cigarette packages, plastic soda bottles and pieces of glass from a broken beer bottle.
“Mom, don’t they know that they should put this in the garbage?” Ellen asked. I assured her that whoever tossed out the garbage probably did know better, but apparently had no regard for others or for the outdoors.
Ellen was indignant that pieces of broken glass were on “our” road only a few hundred yards from the farmstead and talked about how Rosebud could have gotten cut. I agreed with her and we talked about how selfish and irresponsible it was to dump bottles or any other kind of garbage on the road.
Between us, Ellen and I managed to pick up all the garbage. Carrying “icky tobacco” packages, as Ellen described them, offended her even further and she was grumbling about the person who left them all the way to our dumpster.
I was pretty ticked, too, about having to stuff my pocket with a broken beer bottle neck and carry several half-full bottles of soda. I still was fuming when I got back to the house and told Brian, my husband, about it.
He told me that he also came upon several plastic bottles and other garbage a few hundred yards east of our house when he was on his daily run that morning. I told him that if I knew who the person was who had dumped out the garbage that I would gather it all up in a plastic bag and deposit in his or her front yard.
I would like to think that would get the point across about littering, but maybe that’s expecting too much. Whoever did the littering doesn’t care about how their own property, either.
Because I do take pride in the appearance of our farmstead and also about the countryside, I have a message for whoever littered: Don’t do it in my backyard — or anywhere else.