Archive for March, 2012

All the Pretty People.

Studies have proven that people who are likely to litter are reluctant to do so in areas that are clean and litter free. It has also been reported that people who are observed picking up trash in a public place will influence others to do the same when they’re in a similar situation.

Yes its true, try it. The next time you’re in public and you see a piece of trash on the ground, pick it up then sit back and watch. Every single person who saw you do pick up that litter will be influenced by your actions in one of two ways; if they’re likely to litter they’ll be hesitant to do so. And those who are likely to pick up litter will the next time they see it. The benefits of what you’ve just done are beyond your wildest imagination.

See and trash or litter in this picture? Nope, ya don’t. Ya know why? We have a very cool group of people in Palm Springs. They call themselves the Tahquitz Creek Yacht Club. They go into areas like this and clean. These people are my heroes.

There are two types of people in this world; Ugly people who litter, and pretty people who pick it up. 

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I think we have a problem.

English: Litter beside a layby near Sedgeberro...

Image via Wikipedia

In an attempt to coordinate clean up efforts on Earth Day, April 22, 2012, I have experienced a great deal of Bureaucracy. In all fairness let me state; I’ll be asking people to meet at specific locations in the town where I live, vacant lots, parks, or streets, and spend some time to help clean these areas on Earth Day. I must take every measure to make sure those people have the clearance from the land owners. I then have to make law enforcement aware that clearance has been obtained. I don’t mind doing this, its sort of a hassle but if people get arrested for trespassing, I’m the one who put them there.

Then of course there are liability issues with waivers involved; God in Heaven I pray I can get a grasp on this in time for Earth Day. Whats more important than a waiver? Personal Safety. I must survey each site for hazardous materials, broken glass, anything that could cause injury. Liability is a concern, but more important; I couldn’t live with myself if someone got hurt in a location where I asked them to be. This project involves safety and clearance issues of several people, so it is important to go through proper channels.

This particular case involves several people, but what about an individual who wants clean up an area. One person would n’t have to be concerned with the safety of others; somebody who is tired of looking at trash somewhere and wants to clean that area. Would their efforts, which on a grand scale would benefit everyone, actually illegal if the land is not theirs?

Rather strange when you consider the person who threw litter on ground; they didn’t get written permission from the landowner. They didn’t sign a waiver, and we know they didn’t contact local law enforcement. They just threw that litter on the ground. Why can’t it be just as easy for some one who wants to go pick that litter up? Which behaviors are we rewarding? Yes, I think we have a problem.

In First Aid there is a “Good Samaritan Law” which protects individuals who assist accident victims. Why can’t we take that same principle but apply it to the environment? Imagine the benefits this would have. Those who are likely to pick up litter would be encouraged to do that. And those who are likely to litter would think twice before doing it.

 

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