Friday, April 27, 2007

Don't throw trash out your car window!!!

Can I say that any more emphatically?

Most days, I go for a 45-minute walk along the main road near our house. I pass a lot of trees, a beautiful lake, some nice birds and animals (saw a muskrat Monday) and not a lot of houses and cottages. What I do see a lot of is garbage that people have tossed out their car windows. And that makes me really, really mad. Because if we can't even stop ourselves from throwing crap all over the road, how in the name of David Suzuki are we ever going to be able to stop the environmental crisis enveloping our world? (because I know Stephen "Helmet head" Harper and his useless environment minister John "Scare Tactic" Baird sure as hell aren't going to be doing it!)

Several decades back, when I was just a wee thing, I wrote a speech called "Ecology" and made it to the school finals in our annual public speaking contest. When I was even younger than that, my parents taught me that littering is a cardinal sin. You just do not EVER throw your trash on the ground. There are plenty of garbage cans around, and you should use them. PERIOD. If you don't, you're a disgusting little slob. This is Canada. Most of us have FREE garbage pick-up at the flaming curb, fer cryin' out loud.

So every day I am appalled by the amount of man-made crud in the ditches and on the shoulders of the road I walk on. Most of the trash is in one of two categories: food packaging, or cigarette-related paraphernalia. The list is long: Cigarette packs. Cigarette butts. Old lighters. Beer cans. Beer bottles. Wine bottles. Pop cans. Juice boxes. Styrofoam take-out food containers. Cardboard take-out food containers. Frigging wrappers galore. A lot of McDonald's bags and related CRAP.

Yesterday I just about blew out an aneurysm when I saw a McDonald's bag, a Big Mac box, a cheeseburger wrapper and a fries box blowing around the centre of the road. Some ass had clearly just tossed it out the window. What was also blowing around was this:

Looks like a single, very hungry moron visited the McDonald's on St. Louis in Gatineau, ingested a Big Mac, cheeseburger, medium fries and a Coke, and vomited forth the packaging (and receipt) as he was sailing down Rue Buckingham in whatever vehicle it is that hungry littering morons drive. I guess he or she just didn't want to sully the pristine interior of his or her vehicle. I guess he or she was just TOO DAMN LAZY to put his or her CRAP in a garbage can.

I won't get into my opinions on fast food, other than to say I stopped eating it after I read Fast Food Nation. I think what you eat is a highly personal decision that is yours alone to make. However, I do feel compelled to criticize those who throw TRASH out their vehicle windows. What is wrong with you? What makes you so special that you can't save your crap for a garbage can? My Mum had a word for that: LAZY.

What really kills me is that I bet most of these slovenly people have or want children (and are teaching their innocent kids that it's fine to throw trash on the ground!) Certainly most of the people currently polluting the hell out of planet Earth have children. I just cannot understand this overarching lack of concern for the shape we are leaving this planet in for future generations. Hey, I don't even have kids, but I care what happens to our world. You littering types clearly don't. And you should. You should care because your little ones will be here long after you have shuffled off this mortal coil.

Maybe you won't switch to a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Maybe you won't turn off your vehicle engine when you're sitting for more than three minutes. Maybe you won't stop buying things you don't need. That's fine. But could you at LEAST not throw your garbage out the window of your car?? PRETTY PLEASE?

As for me, I feel guilty walking past this trash every day without picking it up, but when I walk, I walk fast and am trying to get some real exercise. If I stopped to pick up every piece of crap I saw, my walk would turn into a turtle-paced two-hour one. However, I do plan to go out with a big green garbage bag sometime very soon and pick up after all you weenies who can't pick up after yourselves. It pisses me off no end to have to do that, but I'm not doing it for you. I'm doing it for this poor suffering planet.

Rant over! Thanks for reading. And thanks to all of you, fortunately the majority, who put their trash in trash cans instead of heaving it out the window.


  1. Ummm ... Pnat??? How do you feel about people who litter?

  2. Hmmm...obviously I need to use stronger language! :)

  3. I agree with you 100%. For us, littering has a profound effect on our rivers & ocean. All street drains lead eventually to the river a couple miles away. This means the trash does too. I could have written your post the other day when I was sitting at a red light staring at tons of fast food garbage at the top of a drain. Btw, we do our best to avoid f.f. at all costs. After today, I need to put convenient store food on that list too.

  4. I do *especially* worry about the trash I see because it is so close to a big lake with lots of animals living in/on/near it. NOT LITTERING is such a small thing that anybody can do! No sacrifice involved!

    Another easy thing people should do is snip apart those plastic rings that hold pop/beer cans together, before putting them in the trash. Unsnipped, they are a real hazard to many animals, whose heads get stuck in the rings. Snipping them apart means that if they ever end up floating in a lake, they at least are less likely to harm an animal.

    As for fast food, I'm not criticizing anyone who eats it, especially when you have kids and a busy life. I just think it's good to think about the food you put in your mouth. Your body is a temple and all that. :)

    Robin, you must go nuts seeing all that trash so near a watercourse. And it's scary what some people will pour down a street drain, without considering that they may eventually be drinking that water, never mind the effects it can have on fish and other wildlife!

  5. Anonymous8:46 am

    WELL SAID!!!!! Good on ya!!!!


  6. Today I was biking home when I was hit squarely by a bag of fast food, getting nasty grease on my shirt and face. I could not agree with your post more.

  7. My God, Trevor, that is appalling. I hope karma bites that person in the ass.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!