EDITORIAL: Leaving trash such a waste

Too many people don’t give a hoot about protecting our environment.

New evidence floated to the surface of Nanaimo Harbour that some people still don’t grasp the destructive nature of littering.

A letter in today’s paper indicates some fishermen have ignored the concept of carrying out their trash while fishing the Millstone River. Fishing tackle, plastic bags and more are left behind for either concerned citizens to pick up, or to be washed away by the tide.

It’s a sad commentary on fishermen, who for the most part, claim to be stewards of the environment. Even litter discarded above the high-tide mark will make its way into the water and directly into the path of the marine life if not picked up.

As it is in most negative situations, it is the few spoiling it for the many.

And the littering habit is not limited to Nanaimo’s waterfront.

Take a bike ride up Doumont Road or the logging roads of the central Island and what is your reward for making the effort to enjoy the outdoors? Burnt-out cars, dilapidated furniture, bags of garbage and often animal carcasses.

People go to extreme efforts to get rid of their waste in places they won’t be seen or caught. Focusing that effort toward proper disposal would make a world of difference for the environment.

If not, it falls on the rest of us to do it for them. Community groups and businesses volunteer time and resources annually to clean up Doumont and yet the garbage continues to appear. And there will be no shortage of work for participants in this year’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup from Sept. 17-25.

People who know not to litter and care about the environment shouldn’t be the ones cleaning up after those who don’t.

Each of us is responsible for our actions and must own up to them.