Littering is a terrible thing to do

Written on 03/02/2024
Outdoors with Bud, by Bud Fields

Outdoors with Bud
By Bud Fields

I have noticed while driving the country roads an increase in people littering and throwing things carelessly out their car and truck windows and cluttering the road and ditches. This is terrible. I struggle to understand why this is being done.

Years ago, there was a commercial on television featuring an American Indian actor named Iron Eyes Cody. He was often referred to as “the Crying Indian.” He was dressed in buckskin, fringed clothing with a full-feathered headdress. He was riding his Pinto horse and came to a highway where a motorist went by and threw some trash out the window. It landed at the horse’s feet.

The Indian looked down and had tears in his eyes, seeing how the trash made the beautiful surroundings extremely unattractive. I have witnessed this same scenario too many times.

It is not only unsafe, but also illegal, and I can’t believe anyone could justify such an unforgivable act like this. What would you do if you woke up some morning and had trash thrown in your front yard? Most likely, you would be very upset. You would be even more upset as you were the one who had to clean it up.

I have had discarded soft drink cans, cigarette butts, and wrappers thrown carelessly in my front yard, and I have also found discarded needles. That really scares me.

I live a couple hundred yards from a school and city park, and there are hundreds of young elementary school kids who walk back and forth to school and to the park past our house. What if they handled those needles and something terrible happened to them?

I have actually found small animals, like squirrels, mink, rabbits, and even ducks that straggled when they got their heads and necks stuck in those plastic wrappers used to hold six packs of beverages, or even hung up on discarded fishing line.

I often drive the back roads, watching for deer activity, and I have taken many photos of deer feeding and traveling. You would be surprised how many people never realize there are any deer inhabiting the woods and fields near their homes. It is all too often that I come across piles and piles of plastic trash bags thrown in the ditches or loose trash and junk scattered everywhere.

I have seen appliances within a few feet of the road or wood line. I have seen mattresses, box springs, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, microwave ovens, stoves, paint buckets, magazines, discarded mail, rolls of fence, discarded Christmas trees ... just about anything. What a shame!

What was once referred to as our beautiful American homeland is quickly becoming a world-wide junkyard, and I hate that! Most neighborhoods have weekly trash pickup services, and many have places and dumpsters to discard items to be recycled. I struggle to understand why anyone needs to discard their trash on someone else’s property.

I was not raised that way. I remember one time when I was just a kid, I threw a candy bar wrapper out the window of my dad’s car. He pulled over, grabbed me by the arm, and marched me right back and made me pick that wrapper up. I stuffed it in my pants pocket. I should have stuck in the back pocket because I got the seat of my pants "warmed up."

Let’s just say my dad got the message across that I was to never throw trash out of the car window. That event happened over 70 years ago, and trust me, I remember it well.

I got a teenager mad at me in the mall parking lot not long ago. We were walking toward the mall entrance, and as we approached his junky looking automobile, he rolled the window down and threw out a paper bag from a fast food store. It had his plastic soft drink cup, sandwich wrapper, and a few French fries and ketchup condiment packets. I tapped him on his shoulder and pointed out several trash containers at the front door of the building.

He gave me the stink eye, but I told him that was what those trash containers were for. He reluctantly picked it up and disposed of it in the container. If looks could have killed, you would not be reading this now.

Folks, I don’t normally get overly excited, but we are living on this planet Earth, so why don't we all make efforts to protect it an keep it beautiful? Hopefully, the younger generation we will leave it to will make it America the Beautiful again and forever. Please, dispose of your trash properly and do not litter!