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COLUMN: First litterer messed it up for us all

NANAIMO – Littering had to start sometime and somewhere. Was it right at the beginning?

I wonder if Adam and Eve littered?

I mean, of course, aside from the apple core that caused them so much trouble.

But once banished from the Garden of Eden did they figure the heck with it, sooner or later the world is going to hell in a hand basket so let’s just toss our junk?

Littering had to start sometime and somewhere. Was it right at the beginning?

Who was the first person to toss their garbage? Did they call it garbage back then? And did they have any idea what they were starting?

One thing is for certain, it definitely caught on.

You literally (litter-ly?) cannot go anywhere in this world without seeing the trouble tossing that first piece of trash caused mankind.

I shouldn’t say anywhere. I’ve never been deep into the Amazon jungle,  the middle of Antarctica or the Sahara Desert, but I’ll lay odds someone has tossed something away instead of hauling it out.

I have been to the tip of Vancouver Island and Cape Scott Provincial Park where I figured anyone willing to make that trek would be like-minded and love nature.

They would take the utmost care to preserve the environment and leave the trails, beaches and campsites pristine.

Not so.

There wasn’t a lot of litter, but in kilometres of rain forest, nothing stands out more than an empty bag that once carried freeze-dried bacon and eggs. Or a bright orange garbage bag that I assume was waterproofing for someone’s camping gear. Heaven forbid they use it for its original purpose.

But as much as those items stood out in the forest, here at home you can’t see the forest for the trees. Or more precisely, you can’t see the litter for the litter on top of the litter.

People have become desensitized to that candy wrapper, that Big Gulp container, yesterday’s newspaper that blew off a doorstep.

They don’t see the thousands of cigarette butts that litter our roadways and playgrounds. They don’t see the half-eaten carton of french fries or that discarded bag of dog poop.

Check that – they do see it. They just don’t care. That’s the problem.

No one wants to pick up someone else’s litter because it is a waste of time. Clean up an area one day and it’s garbage central the next.

I pick up litter around our condominium complex and at our rental properties but it never stays clean.

It gets frustrating – especially cigarette butts – and outside properties where I live or are responsible for, I’m developing that same attitude many have.

It’s not my litter, I didn’t toss it so it’s not my problem. I know: nothing will get solved with that frame of mind.

So let’s do our part – even if we’re not responsible for the mess in the first place – and clean up our world.

If not the world, how about our neighbourhoods? If you’re going for a walk, all it takes is a pair of gloves and a garbage bag. We can make a difference if we’re persistent. Just make sure you toss the garbage bag in the garbage bin.

u u u

At the writing of this column, my Boston Bruins were up three games to none over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

This is not me being cocky as I remember a similar situation in 2010 where the Bruins ended up losing a series 4-3 to Philadelphia.

No, this is just me saying it’s lonely cheering on my team without the Canuckleheads – I mean Vancouver Canucks – in the picture. Nobody here cares.

Oh, well, go Bruins.

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