We are expected to be good stewards of our Earth. Sadly, too many people don’t quite grasp what this means, nor do they understand the responsibility each one of us has to do many things that protect the environment.
Personally, I would like to see municipalities do far more to collect toxic waste materials. We can’t put household batteries in the trash any more, but just try to find somewhere close by to take them instead! And cities could host far more frequent collections of leftover herbicides, pesticides, half-empty propane tanks, etc. We should be able to call for hazardous waste pickup the same way we can call for bulky item pickup. Private citizens cannot be expected to transport such items in the trunk of a vehicle where they might get rear-ended in frenetic traffic.
When we look around and do something every day to show our love for our environment, we postpone disaster for the planet, we stave off extinction for many species of wildlife, and we help ourselves. Every scrap of trash that we place in a trash bin instead of on the ground stays out of gutters, out of the storm drains and out of our oceans. Our marine life from the tiniest plankton to the Blue Whale is dependent on us! Visit the Ocean Conservancy’s website for some of the most insightful information available.
Even tap water can become polluted. Any large city pours huge amounts of purifying chemicals of one kind or another into the city water system on a daily basis, just to make it safe for all of us to drink. Sometimes this adds a flavor we don’t care for but at least it’s safe.
Bottled water can also be a safe alternative but sometimes that has to be carefully considered, too, depending on where it was bottled. And are you among those who recycle plastic bottles? It’s a lot of work! And sometimes it’s easier to put the bottles in the city recycling bin for pickup than it is to take them to the closest recycling center yourself. Quite often the scavengers get to it before the trash trucks arrive but it’s a viable option.
Personally, I think homeless people need every nickel they can get from recycling. They are just trying to survive. If I hear the bag ladies and their squeaky shopping carts at 3 a.m., I’m not going to yell out the window at them. But more often, professional scavenging rings from other neighborhoods cause a lot of trouble for cities and the police. They are arrogant and insolent to homeowners plagued by them. And it makes little difference if you wait till 6 a.m. to put the bins out. Trash truck drivers haven’t yet found a way to collect at both ends of their routes at 6:15 a.m.
Plastic in all its forms is the deadliest to our marine life but even land-based creatures suffer from ingesting it, also. This includes our own household pets if we are not constantly watchful. And there is nothing more resourceful than cats and dogs when it comes to eating things that aren’t good for them.
Skunks have been photographed and caught with yogurt cartons stuck on their snouts. Birds and other creatures have become snared in wires and cords. Shore birds by the thousands are killed in oil spills that should never have happened. There is so much preventive action to be taken and we can do it, one person at a time, one action at a time. In our hopelessly busy lives, let’s remember all of God’s creatures around us!