What an awesome summer we are enjoying! We hope you’ve been able to get out with your family and friends and take in some of the best that nature has to offer here in Hendricks County. Spending time experiencing nearby nature is critical to developing a sense of ownership for your community.
When people begin to feel like an area is theirs, they will work to protect it and take good care of it. We are all far more likely to pay attention to where we put our trash when we know the creek that it could end up in or the animal that might accidentally ingest it. Perhaps the most obvious sign of how people feel about a particular area is the amount of litter scattered there.
Litter is defined as trash that is not in its place. The most commonly littered items include things like plastic shopping bags (that are like kites on a windy day), cigarette butts, fast food trash and beverage containers. Luckily, most places we visit at least have trash cans with many now providing recycling bins and ash trays. So, there aren’t many excuses left for littering on purpose.
But, not all litter comes from someone who has carelessly thrown a piece of trash out the window of the car or left picnic trash behind. Sometimes things can accidentally blow out of a trash can or recycle bin, or even out of the back of a trash truck.
Here are some quick tips to help you do your part to limit litter:
Have a plan for your trash – If you are going on a picnic, road trip, or outdoor event, know where the recycling bins and trash cans are. If none are available, bring a plastic bag along to tote your trash and recyclables back home.
Secure your trash can lid and recyclables – Making sure your trash can lid cannot blow off in the wind and that your recyclables are weighed down will go a long way to keeping trash in its place. Items like six-pack rings, yogurt cups, and grocery bags are especially dangerous to wildlife that can get caught in them or mistake them for food. Clip the six-pack rings with scissors, flatten the yogurt cup, and take the grocery bags back to the stores to be recycled.
If you see litter, pick it up – Litter gives the impression that no one cares and will, unfortunately, attract more litter.
Biodegradables are not okay to litter either –Foods like apple cores, banana peels and potato chips thrown out of a vehicle cause trouble for wildlife. Rodents are attracted to the discarded food and the birds of prey, many of which hunt during high traffic times, are often struck by vehicles while hunting along roadsides.