Every time I go somewhere beautiful (including one of my favorite places on earth) it’s inevitable; other people’s trash surrounds me. I just can’t imagine purposely leaving any type of garbage on the ground. It disgusts and frustrates me, and the only thing that makes me feel better is knowing that some of it was accidental. Even with the best of intentions, it can happen; stray fishing line is hard to see… bandaid wrappers can sneak away… receipts can get carried off by the wind.
Stowing your wrappers until you reach a proper receptacle and keeping an extra observant eye on the kids will prevent your trash from becoming litter. As for other people’s trash, it’s easy to get mad, but it’s also easy to pick it up yourself. When we arrive at the beach, a lake, a river, or any other enjoyable place, I grab the garbage around us with my “trash tongs” and put it in an empty chip bag that I’ve brought along for the task. (Sometimes I resent it at first, but it always feels good to do something positive.) My younger son especially likes this activity. He’s cleaned the beach and the shore of Lake Tahoe and says he wants to “pick up trash all over the world”. That’s my boy!
When you’re out there enjoying the world, pack your trash. And if you’ve got it in you, pack somebody else’s too.