Careless litter

Field of litter

I took this photo while walking back home after leaving the Kwikspar (mentioned in my last post). Whilst the field's not a complete litter dump, I found it annoying that every now and again I came across of a piece of careless litter like the one presented in the photo.

Even as a kid I would never have dreamed of throwing my chocolate wrappers on the ground. Even if they fell by accident I'd pick them up. Even if the wind blew them beyond reach, I'd chase them down. Why is it that some think it's okay to not take care? Do you think it's that they simply don't think about what they're doing? Do you think that they believe that someone else should chase after their rubbish because they're too awesome to have to deal with it?

7 thoughts on “Careless litter

  1. Nixgrim

    Firstly, I want to say how much I appreciate the little blurbs you add to your photos every day. I subscribe to several photoblogs, and yours is by far the best, not because the photos are necessarily the best (who can compete with National Geographic, for example?) but because of the stories that go with the photos. I like knowing the background to the shots. Plus I’m learning lots about my own city too. So thanks.

    Secondly, about the litter. This is a problem caused by Apartheid. Don’t laugh. It’s true. Because of the Group Areas Act and the forced removals, those who were moved to the townships were determined not to care about their environment because it wasn’t theirs. Again, if no-one cares about you, why should you care about yourself? Thirdly, since there were no council refuse services offered, why bother to pick up the litter? Fourthly, not picking up your litter was one way to demonstrate your disgust with the government’s actions. All of this conspired to produce a generation that not only fails to understand the reasons behind their own littering, but fails to understand why littering is a problem.

    My father-in-law was (at one time) involved in training small groups of black and coloured students about the environment, and he found this paradigm the hardest to deal with. Obviously, there will always be people who don’t care, but he found that with proper explanations and teaching, most of them started changing their behaviour. It’s going to take a concerted campaign though to get the masses on board.

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  3. Paul

    Post author

    Jonathan, lols, indeed!

    Nixgrim, thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed comment. I take no offence – it’s difficult to compete photography-wise with the likes of National Geographic – and, well, I guess this isn’t my intent. Thanks for the compliment!

    Then, on the litter thing: Yes, I see your point and am pretty sure that you’re correct. I don’t like it, but hey, I can buy that it’s a symptom of a past problem. Perhaps I should just mention that I wasn’t implying that it was one of those people you refer to who dropped this (and yeah, I realise that this wasn’t your implication either). When I saw the litter I immediately thought back to a (white) girl who use to travel to Town on the train with me. The one day she just dumped her empty soda can from the train window! I also think of all the cigarette butts that I see lying about… and then the ones I sometimes find scattered about my garden when particular people have visited. People are weird.

    Firefly, I guess that it’s difficult when they’re exposed to people who don’t care as much.

  4. Beverley

    Sadly Paul I think you will find this ‘dropping of litter’ is a problem the world over (except for Singapore!!) We have a huge problem with it in the UK and no-one seems to care any more.

  5. Paul

    Post author

    Beverley, I had this suspicion. Isn’t Singapore amazing!? I think that there it’s a criminal offence that the government takes extremely seriously. Or, do you think it’s just a culture/pride think in Singapore?

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