According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Pack It In, Pack It Out.Don't Litter Highways and Byways

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pack It In, Pack It Out.Don't Litter Highways and Byways

Might as well write the ol’ blog, Sam’s asleep on the couch now that he’s had his walk and a cookie, and Kathleen’s at the grocery store shopping for dinner - it’s a quiet Sunday afternoon here at our house. Speaking about groceries, today’s subject will be about NOT picking up other people’s garbage.

An article by staff writer Jeffrey P. Mayor, in Sunday’s The Olympian, says that the Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to volunteer for hiking trail projects. National Trails Day is a time for people from “all walks of life” to celebrate our trails, according to Gregory Miller, American Hiking Society president.

Building and enhancing hiking trails is good. Sam and I (and Kathleen) like to hike and I guess I would be in favor of volunteering to help out if I didn’t suspect I would wind up packing other people’s garbage off the trails. That would make me a very unhappy camper. I could not find a statistic for how much garbage is left littering our Washington State and national park trails every year, but excoosa me, iffa you hike it in, you hike it out. That’s what I was taught and I still think that’s a good rule.

Washington State has this thing called Adopt-A-Highway where you or your organization volunteer to pick up litter along a two-mile stretch of highway four times a year. Each year 5 to 7 million (that’s MILLION!) pounds of garbage and refuse are collected. That’s insane. Other states have a similar problem. Texas volunteers picked up 7 million pounds along their highways last year too. That state’s program is called “Don’t Mess With Texas - Trash Off.” Cute.

The venerable and majestic Himalayas have been so trashed by mountain climbers over the last 50-60 years, litter extraction expeditions have had to be formed just to climb up the peaks to pick up all the crap the climbers leave behind. Look on the internet and you will see disgusting pictures of a once pristine landscape ravished by garbage and litter. And we pride ourselves on being environmentally conscious.

Personally, I just don’t get this whole littering thing. People toss cigarettes and other detritus out their car windows when they have cup holders and ash trays and other means of taking their trash home with them - why does it have to go out the window? But have you ever walked across a parking lot and looked in the windows of cars? Some of them are so trashed it’s a miracle anyone can get into the driver’s seat to drive and you can almost understand why stuff goes out the window.

Our neighborhood is a nice one, but the roads and especially the main road in, have to be picked up periodically to keep the neighborhood from being mistaken for the local dump. The main road in was just thoroughly cleaned up a couple of weeks ago and already there are soda cups, gum and candy wrappers, cans and other garbage waiting to be picked up again.

Three bags of poop on people who litter. And to really punish them, let’s make the guilty parties carry that poop around tied to their belts for awhile. Phew!

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