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Litter and it's Effects on Nature

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Litter and it's Effects on Nature

Post  LyxisMorgan on Tue 31 Jul 2012 - 20:22

Litter and its Effects on Wildlife

The eyesore that is litter is an all too familiar sight in our towns and countryside. Not only is it unsightly, but the mess of the discarded materials can present a serious hazard to the wildlife population.
Birds, mammals and reptiles can be injured or killed by the rubbish we throw away. The scale of the problem is growing ever larger, with some types of litter persisting in the environment for decades. Clean up campaigns and recycling schemes do help the problem but there are some who continually discard of their waste in bushes and woods with no respect for the work the rest of us try and do.

My local circle of friends would meet up frequently in an area of woodland for some of the Pagan ceremonies. We would always take carrier bags with us so that we had something to take away our own rubbish in. On later visits it got to the point where we were finding our favourite area already a mess before we had even started from where others had been building fires and drinking. Beer cans, bottles, bottle caps, crisp wrappers and cigarette butts littered the woods grounds and bushes. We would spend half an hour cleaning up other people’s litter before we could begin our celebrations and then time at the end making sure that we were not leaving any signs of our being there either.
You can imagine that it got to the point for us that meeting in this area was becoming less fun… we would arrive and feel depressed at the sights of litter ruining a place that to us was sacred.

Beer cans and other drink cans can be attractive places for smaller animals to crawl inside as they are warmed quickly by the sun but these animals can get harmed as they can get cut up by the rim or trapped inside.
The plastic rings from multipacks of drinks also pose a threat to the wildlife. Birds and other animals can get tangled in the rings and die of strangulation.

One of the houses I used to live in was close to a shop and children would buy sweets, crisps etc. and eat them on the way home, unfortunately only they were done the packet remains would be hurled into the bushes by my fence, some managed to throw high enough to get them into our garden.
Before I moved out, we replaced the fence and trimmed back some of the bushes to make way for the new fence. I spent a couple of hours picking up as much of the old litter as I could. I even found some old chocolate bar wrappers that are not sold in shops any more… more disturbing however was the discarded needle from a druggie… I used to play in that garden as a child and I used to play in the bushes around the other side of our fence… what if I had stumbled across that needle as a child!

We do now do a lot to help the environment with the litter problem but is it yet enough?

As a girl I felt a little embarrassed while sitting at a bus stop with my grandmother because she had a go at a group of teens who threw rubbish on the ground when there was a bin just a few steps ahead of them. One of the teens bent down and picked up his litter and took it to the bin. My grandmother had some guts, but we are in an age where a lot of the younger generation do not respect the elderly and would have just laughed at her.

Can we still command respect from the next generation and teach them the difference between their bedroom floor and the environment that we have to share?

I’m an Eco-warrior and I’m going to try my best to change my part of the world.


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