Even a Small Gum Wrapped Has an Impact

Gazette essay contest contestant responds to the question of why there is so much litter in this area and what can be done about it.

  • May. 22, 2015 5:00 a.m.

It is estimated that 1.9 billion tonnes of garbage ends up in the ocean every year.

Since the North Island is surrounded by the ocean, we as residents have an important responsibility to decrease that amount. Sadly, the ocean isn’t the only place that is collecting garbage. Garbage can be found in parks, back roads, even the sidewalks downtown. Why are people around the North Island throwing their waste everywhere? The possible reason for that could be because our generation has become remiss due to our modern conveniences. However, there are many solutions to this problem.

The time that we live in now filled with many new modern conveniences. One of the biggest conveniences that our era has is technology, more specifically cell phones.

Cell phones have developed so much over the years, that they now have functions useful for everyday life. Cell phones can be used to turn off the lights in your house, as a flashlight, a remote and much more.

Our cell phones help us a great deal now a days, but people have become very reliant on them. It’s possible that because we are so reliant on conveniences such as cell phones, that this behaviour has carried on into our day to day lives. Maybe this is the reason why some people are unable to throw away a piece of garbage into the can a few feet away. But what if the garbage can was closer?

If the reason that people leave garbage everywhere is because they’re too remiss to place it in a can, then one solution could be to have more garbage cans that are conveniently placed.

Disneyland has a garbage system in which garbage cans are placed exactly 25 steps away from any place vending food.

This is because research has shown that it takes exactly 25 steps before a person wants to throw away a piece of garbage. If a garbage can is too close, people will walk past it before wanting to throw away any garbage. If a garbage can is too far, people usually don’t want to go that far to throw trash. This system that Disneyland uses is very effective, but not many people are aware that it exists. Over time, this could be one of the solutions that helps make some garbage around the North Island clear up.

Using strategically-placed garbage cans is one of many methods that can help clean up garbage around the North Island. Luckily, there are many more solutions to this problem. Living near the water, chances are that most residents of the North Island have participated in a beach clean up at one point of their life.

These types of cleanups are extremely effective, and have a very good impact on the environment. Instead of having cleanups once or twice a year, making them more frequent could decrease the amount of waste that builds up over time. Getting kids more involved in these activities is important as well.

Kids soak up information like a sponge, and teaching them about what we can do to help the environment is something that will stay in their minds as they grow older. By having more people with the motivation to help the environment they live in, over time the amount of waste will decrease.

If everyone does their part to help, the waste can decrease by a significant amount. Even something as small as picking up a gum wrapper found on the ground has an impact. The North Island is a beautiful place, and its important that we keep it that way.

 

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