Little changes can reduce litter
Do the Rai Thing - Nayyab Rai
Recently, my little sister re- minded me of a lesson that I had gradually forgotten over time, something that I now realize everyone forgets: Littering is bad.
I remember going to my third-grade science class and my teacher would always emphasize that protecting the planet is vital and that we can help do so by not throwing our garbage in the middle of the street.
Everyone would get all pumped up and excited about this new "mission" in protecting our home. We would tell each other about all the different types of activities and programs we would join to help our environment.
However, we would come in the next day completely forget- ting about all the promises that we had made.
At the time, I did not realize just how big of a problem littering truly is. I thought it would be like a rainbow; there for one second, gone the next.
But that is unfortunately not true. We are getting worse in this endeavor, because so many of us just don`t care what happens.
Littering has such a huge negative impact on the planet's ecosystem. An estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine animals are found dead every year due to the garbage that we throw onto the ground.
Most animals are incredibly smart, but they have a hard time understanding what is good and what is bad for them.
In order to survive, many animals will eat whatever they find, not realizing how harmful eating waste could be to their digestive systems.
Every day, I walk around on campus and I see at least five water bottles on the ground. Whenever I come back home, there is garbage on the streets, making it a little dangerous to even drive.
Cigarette butts are, by far, the No. 1 item to be littered around the world. After smoking, it is just so easy and convenient to just toss the really tiny butt onto the ground without ever having to think about it again.
However, slowly that tiny cigarette butt becomes 100 cigarette butts. You don't see the impacts of
littering right away. It is some- thing that takes time to build.
There are many countries in the world, third-world countries, that have garbage just lining up on the sides of the roads. The garbage just continues for miles, with no end in sight.
America is one of those lucky places where that has not happened yet. However, if we as citizens, do not take any preventative measure now, our country will soon become a gigantic gar- bage can.
It is not hard to stop littering. Just find your nearest trash can or recycling bin. If everyone can just wait to throw away their trash until they find a trash can, there would be such a positive response from ecosystems all over the world.
Even picking up garbage that already has been littered goes a long way.
We all live on a beautiful planet that has taken care of us, now we need to take care of it.
And thanks to my seven- year-old little sister, who re- minded me that we need to pro- tect our home.
Nayyab Rai is a news editor for the Thunderword.