Littering Has Devastating Consequences

Gazette essay contestant answers the question of why people litter so much in this area and what can be done about the issue.

  • May. 22, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Littering is a devastating human impact on the environment and is a serious environmental issue in many countries. Although for some reason, there seems to be a certain severity of this global problem on the North Island. Luckily I had an upbringing with the knowledge of the environmental impact of littering and traditionally avoided the habit. But unfortunately, some people were not brought up with the same principles as I. The root of why this crime against nature plagues the North Island and how it shall be dealt with is often a big question.

Many people wonder why littering is a big problem on the North Island, and I believe it can be explained in a couple of reasons. For the most part, it comes down to blunt laziness and disregard for the environment. People see the litter already on the ground, they assume someone else will pick it up, or they just feel it’s the most convenient way to dispose of their trash. I suppose people just feel an utter lack of consequences for their actions; but it really shows no sense of ownership for the beautiful environment that we should feel so lucky to live in. Not to mention, excessive amounts of litter leads to more pests and animals lurking in polluted areas. But there are many countermeasures to excessive littering that we can use to benefit the environment we live in considerably.

Society sometimes seems to be oblivious to the overall impact littering has on our environment and the world in general. Thousands of both land and sea wildlife are killed and injured every year due to littering. Rivers, streams, beaches, and lakes around the globe are affected by littering, where it not only harms the wildlife of the environment, but also the ecosystem that the bodies of water are within. Excessive littering then attracts unwanted vermin, and even more litter which immortalizes the bad habit because “there was already litter on the ground.” Because of the extensive impact littering has on nature and wildlife, the problem especially applies to the Northern Vancouver Island region. The sad irony of the whole situation is that it all ultimately must be resolved by us, just as it was inflicted; while we use our time and money to improve the environment due to littering.

The way in which we approach resolution to this global problem is critical to its efficiency. The lift-lid garbage cans we already have grown used to on the North Island seem to be efficient in pest prevention, but also unconsciously discourages it use due to its occasional lack of hygiene. Part of the problem must then be solved by acquiring garbage cans engineered to prevent animal intervention while still being more approachable and easy-to-use. Signage, community clean-up events, and anti-littering campaigns can also do well to distinguish further littering problems. All that we citizens of the North Island must do is to simply take the first step towards being a litter-free environment by contributing.

As much as people like to say they don’t litter, many do and fail to see the impact it takes upon the environment of the North Island.

Thousands of land and sea animals are injured and killed every year, and lakes and rivers are harmed by pollution. It will be a very extensive task, but we must be very meticulous if we ever expect to achieve a litter-free environment on the North Island. The first step may always be the hardest, but together it’s a goal that can be accomplished.