November 20, 2019
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Most young campers learn a simple phrase before they head out for the first time. Popular wisdom holds that anyone venturing into the great outdoors needs to “leave it like you found it”. The saying reminds us to clean up our camping sites so that others can have the same experience that we enjoyed. And the same goes for not making a mess on hiking trails, sand dunes or any other natural wonder we might want to explore.

Most campers know the saying and stick to it even in their adulthood. And in turn they usually teach it to their own kids. But we’re learning that the lesson tends to be forgotten soon after one returns to his home or office. We tend to be very good about protecting nearby forests and rivers. But at the same time, we’re accidently polluting the rest of the world.

This is seldom done with any real awareness. Much of it simply comes down to hasty decisions or mistakes. For example, a property manager might simply keep going with the same size for his skip bins. He simply doesn’t consider going out to check on how full they’re getting before the designated disposal dates.

If he did, he’d notice trash spilling out of them when it’s first picked up. But people tend to overlook just how much trash our culture produces. Likewise, we usually forget that it doesn’t simply disappear the instant we put it into a garbage bag. Those bags need to be disposed of. And when they’re put into an overfilled bin the bags often rupture and spill the contents all over the area. You can search online for any skip bin size selection melbourne to figure out the size that you need.

Some of the litter will remain in place. But a large percentage of it ends up slowly moving to rivers, lakes and oceans. It’s one of the reasons why people can’t simply trust the water quality of seemingly clear rivers. What appears to be a clean river might easily be filled with tiny bits of plastic ripped out of soda bottles or the like.

And one shouldn’t think that this is a local issue either. Our litter often even makes it all the way to the Arctic. It’s a huge problem that we’re only now starting to really gauge the scope of. But thankfully there are ways to help fight against the problem and protect the natural world.

One of the most important tactics simply comes down to foresight. In the earlier example of the skip bin there was an obvious point of failure. Our property manager didn’t stop to actually think about his trash situation. He just went with what he thought worked without seeing if he might need to go with a bigger size.

And the same tends to hold true on a personal level as well. We just need to keep an eye on where our trash is going. It’s easy to assume litter comes from other people. But when one sees litter it’s worth pausing for a second to consider whether it might come from one’s own trash receptacles. And one can move on from that point. The more we look for ways to deal with litter the more we can see how much room for improvement there really is.

Jill T Frey

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