1). Screw Mother Earth and her fancy day of atonement. My little gum wrapper tossed out the car window isn’t going to make a difference. And what if a plastic bag blows across the field? It isn’t going to kill anyone or anything.
2). My work day is long. At the end of it I take my kids to a fast-food hamburger joint. It’s easier than cooking. But then . . . they make such a mess in the car on the way to the ball game. I don’t want to bother cleaning my car at the end of a busy day. I’ve done enough, I just want to get home a d relax a bit. I make them put all the wrappers back in the bag before they throw it out the car window. At least it’s all contained in the bag. What’s the problem?
3). I put all my trash in the plastic bucket . . . and I put the lid on it. I can’t help it if the garbage pick-up people don’t get there till late in the afternoon. The dogs in the neighborhood knock it over. They’re not supposed to run loose. If a little bit of litter blows around the garbage people can pick it up.
4). I’ve got fifteen errands to run on my way home. How am I supposed to remember to carry bags into the grocery store? I’ll be sure to do it next time.
5). A little trash scattered in the fields or along the edge of the road isn’t harmful. At least it isn’t chemicals being dumped into the air or local creek. I drive a hybrid lithium-battery car which uses so little gas . . . I’m not the culprit throwing hydro-carbons into the atmosphere. And I eat only organic foods, so I’m not the reason toxic chemicals are dumped onto the soil. Our vacations are camping trips so we can teach our kids about nature. We even hike on the trail to set up the tent in a primitive spot. “Pack it in, pack it out.” The gravel trail makes it easy.
6). Hey, I do my part. I donate money to all sorts of animal rights groups and nature causes. I can’t help it if no one listens to their warnings. Our politicians are going to say whatever it takes to get the vote. If most people don’t care about the environment, our representatives don’t need to vote for the good fight. Nature is a strong force, it can heal itself. I don’t need some politician telling me how to manage my garbage or car repairs.
Isn’t complacency great? We can push on, rationalize and ignore the coming of our mother’s wrath.
Fillup the Cup is a primer for young people to learn this first lesson on controlling litter. You will find this book if you click here