Do you really need to stop littering? Is it really that bad? What does it matter if you toss a candy wrapper on the ground here or throw an empty french-fry box out the window there?
Believe us, it matters.
Littering can have a myriad of negative effects on you, other people, animals, and the entire planet. Imagine you’re driving home from work and someone throws an empty shopping bag out the window that happens to stick to your windshield. This brief distraction could cause a wreck.
Additionally, thousands of animals die every day from choking on or getting caught in misplaced refuse. Furthermore, nine billion tons of litter makes its way into our oceans every year.
Okay, you get it. The question is, how do you stop yourself and other people from littering?
1. Educate Yourself and Others About Why Littering Is Bad
You can begin to prevent littering by educating yourself and the people around you about the negative environmental effects of this bad habit. We mentioned a few above, but there is a lot more information out there that can scare you straight.
Try to have a positive influence on your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. People will be less inclined to continue littering, for example, if they saw you picking up trash they threw on the ground.
2. Carry a Shopping Bag With You
Laziness is one of the most common reasons people litter. It’s easier to toss trash over your shoulder than find a trash bin. However, this isn’t an acceptable excuse.
If you’re going to be somewhere that doesn’t have trash bins around, carry an empty shopping bag with you. It compresses super small and can be used to hold food wrappers, empty soda cans, etc.
3. Put Up Security Cameras in Litter Hot Spots
One of the best ways to stop littering in public areas is by installing visible cameras. They don’t even have to be real. If people think they’re being watched, they’re less likely to do something considered “wrong” or “socially unacceptable.”
4. Provide Solutions for Waste Disposal
One of the most practical tips for litter prevention is to make sure there are waste disposal solutions. Depending on your circumstances, you may not be able to do anything about it.
However, in parks and other public places, talk to the city about getting more trash cans, recycle bins, etc. There are even smart bins designed to automatically compact trash which makes it easier for maintenance crews to manage waste.
5. Ditch Single-Use Products
Finally, people would stop littering as much if they didn’t have as much garbage to throw away. We are a society that relies heavily on single-use times. These include food trays, straws, utensils, cups, plastic bottles, and more.
If people and companies started making an effort to ditch single-use products, there would be less trash in the world.
Looking for More Ways to Stop Littering and Other Eco-Friendly Tips?
If you’re ready to stop littering or want the people around you to ditch their bad habits, be proactive about finding littering solutions. Talk to companies, the city, and other officials who can get involved and help make changes.
And if you’re looking for more great top-five lists, check out some of our other articles before you go. Our blog is full of fun and insightful tips, tricks, and information.