What an awesome summer we’re experiencing in Indiana! We hope you’ve gotten out with your family and friends and enjoyed some of the best that nature has to offer here in Hendricks County and beyond. It is so important to get to know nature in our own community. It’s good to appreciate what grows and lives here and to develop a sense of ownership of our natural habitat. Once we do that, we begin to better understand the importance of caring for our natural resources by not littering and recycling. We are far more likely to pay attention to where we put our trash when we know the stream or pond river that it could end up in or the animal that might accidentally ingest it.
Litter is defined as trash that is not in its place. As such, litter can come from a lot of different sources. Commonly littered items include things like plastic shopping bags that are like kites on a windy day, cigarette butts, food wrappers, fast food bags and drink containers.
But not all litter comes from someone who has carelessly thrown a piece of trash out the car window or left picnic trash behind. Sometimes things can accidentally blow out of a trash can or recycling bin.
So, have a plan for your trash. If you are going on a picnic, road trip, or to an outdoor event, know where the recycling bins and trash cans are. If none are available, bring a plastic bag in the car, place your trash items in it and take them home to be recycled or thrown away.
Also, secure your trash can lid and recyclables. Making sure your trash can lid cannot blow off in the wind and that your recyclables are weighted down will go a long way toward 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 unfortunately, as a result, will attract more litter.
Lastly, you should know that biodegradables are not okay to litter either. Biodegradables (apple cores, banana peels, etc.) thrown out of a vehicle onto a roadside can cause trouble for wildlife. Rodents are attracted to the litter and then birds of prey are attracted to those rodents. Too many birds of prey hunting rodents along roadsides are struck and injured or killed by vechiles each year.