Have we ever contemplated of how our society would be like without litter? We tend to throw any piece of trash at our disposal on the ground not thinking that, that small piece of trash finds other trash which later on builds up into piles of junk. Littering has become common in many cities around the world and if not stopped, our environment will be negatively affected by our own actions. I choose to write an argument on littering in public places, especially in our school because, it has become an environmental hazard and it is affecting our environment. In addition, my reason for doing research on this topic is because; I have witnessed many students throwing litter all over in public places from the ground, in the hallways, and classrooms, without even thinking twice. Therefore, I want to identify the littering problem, its effects and as well as presenting possible solutions or course of action. Littering is a habit of careless throwing or leaving rubbish in the open instead of throwing them into a dustbins or waste paper baskets (Sibley and Liu 418). Littering is an unacceptable act because it pollutes the environment, the waterways, and even harms human, animal and marine life. In addition, it costs a lot of finances to clean it up and it can lead to global warming due to carbon emissions from the litter. Littering is a problem that affects all of us, and it is our duty to fix this problem.
There are many people in our community and students in our school who are used to throwing trash on the ground aimlessly. Littering is an unacceptable behavior that should be stopped in order to save our environment. It is obvious that, many people who litter do not really understand the effects of their actions, but before we decide to throw any dirt around, let us first think of the innocent people and animals we are affecting. First, it is important to note that, littering affects our environment in many ways; it pollutes the environment, the waterways, and even harms human, animal and marine life (Perry, Juhlin, and Normark 80). Littering is harmful to our environment because it pollutes the environment and once the environment is polluted, everything inside it is negatively affected. Therefore, as students, we should put this in mind before littering because, we live in the environment where there is litter and so, we will be negatively affected.
Littering can affect our health especially our lungs when we breathe in. Litter on the ground smells after staying unpicked for a longer period of time and this can be harmful to the human and animal health. Many students will end up being hospitalized because of health issues related to litter yet this can be avoided. Therefore, in order to remain healthy and avoid getting sick because of contaminated water and air in our school compound due to littering, it is important to avoid littering aimlessly. If littering is avoided in our school compound, we will live a healthy life. In our school setting, it is important to keep it clean because it is like our second home. Therefore, all students should be stopped from littering on the ground, in the hallway, and classroom in order to protect the school from litter related health problems. When there is litter everywhere, the environment plus the water will be pollutes and this is not good for our health as students, as a result, it is important to avoid littering everywhere in the school compound.
Another reason why littering should be stopped is to save the marine life. Littering affects marine life because; most of the extinct animals could end up consuming the litter which may later on lead to their death. According to Sibley and Liu, many sea turtles have died in the past three years due to litter in the ocean. Many sea turtles are said to mistake plastic bags for jellyfish which in the end sticks in their system leading to their death (Sibley and Liu 420). Since our school is located near the sea, it is vital for us to preserve the marine life by avoiding littering in the compound because the trash can get its way to the ocean and affect the marine life. As students, we should take the mandate to keep our environment clean by avoiding littering at all costs, because it will benefit our health. As students, we should be the firs people o pioneer the preservation of marine life because we know their importance. Therefore, let us make it our priority to stop littering in order to preserve the animals living near our school.
Moreover, littering can lead to a heap of trash in the hallways and can catch fire which can lead to loss of property or even death. Most of the students stay in the school dormitories and this calls for utmost cleanliness because, if there are big piles of trash in the hall ways, it can lead to fire in the school which can burn our classes and dormitories and this will severely affect our learning. As students, we can avoid fires caused by big piles of trash by avoiding dumping trash around our classes and dormitories. It is important to learn dumping the right way, which is in trash cans and burning all the lying trash around our school compound.
There is only one simple way to solve the litter problem, let us prevent this problem from happening, stop littering. Schultz et al note that, in order to put an end to the littering habit, people should learn to play correct roles in the society (39). Students should start obeying the simple rules written in school that they should not litter on the ground, but throw their trash in dustbins available in school walkways. Additionally, as the students’ fraternity, it is vital to encourage each other to stop littering in our school compound, since this is the only way o stop this environmental menace.
In addition, in order to stop littering, the punishment for littering has to be strict and severe in order to ban students from littering in the classrooms and on the ground. Littering punishments should be severe because it will be a better warning for those who like littering and this would make the world a better and clean place. In addition, the school should ensure that, every walkway has trash cans or boxes where litter should be tossed. Furthermore, let us all learn to pick up any litter we find on our way in order to avoid it from piling.
Many students argue that, the main reason they litter on the ground is for the reason that, there is no proper place to put trash while walking down the hallways. Their argument might be true for places where there are no trash cans on the subways, but this does not give any one the right to litter on the ground. It will cost nothing for one to carry the trash with him/her until he/she finds place where there is a trash can or dust bin. In addition, there are a number of trash cans around the school, let us all learn to walk until we get one other than littering on the ground. Nonetheless, the school should make sure that, there are trash cans or recycling boxes on every pavement for students to toss their trash while walking around the school. With the trash cans on the streets, littering will be curtailed and make the school look clean and beautiful. Therefore, in order to reduce litter or to stop students from littering in classrooms, hallways and on the ground, the school should make sure that, there are sufficient trash cans are available in the school compound.
The action plan for stopping littering in the school compound will be to monitor all students on where they throw their trash and report trash bugs. Moreover, the school should organize a clean up exercise once in a while in the school in order to create awareness on the dangers of littering. In addition, it is vital for the school management to make an arrangement of teaching all students on the effects of littering and why it should be stopped. The school should set waste reduction goals and how these goals can be met in order to make the school a litter free environment. Moreover, the students can focus on reducing litter in the school and if that fails to work, they can find ways to recycle the litter available in the school other than living it to lie around. Let us all know that, as students we can do something good to prevent litter in our school compound and make it safer, cleaner and sustainable. The school should continue to heighten the awareness of students’ responsibilities littering through education and other awareness programs like competitions.
In essence, littering is an environmental issue in many schools around then world. It should be stopped at all costs because our society is at risk. Littering is a problem caused by all of us and we are the people who can help eliminate this problem in our school by our everyday’s actions. Even though it might take a while, it is possible to live in a litter free environment whereby people take care of the environment by making it clean and litter free. The school should make an effort of teaching their students on the effects of littering and the best ways to avoid littering in school. Furthermore, the school should make sure that there are adequate trash cans around the school and in convenient places in order to make it easy for the students to throw their trash. Littering is an environmental menace in our schools, and it can be avoided by our simple actions as students, for instance by just not littering. Likewise, the school can create litter awareness programs to enable students understand the effects of littering and why it is vital to end it in addition to promoting the Green Schools program with the neighboring schools. I believe that, in future, there will be no littering in our school and we shall have a clean and beautiful environment.
Sibley, Chris G. and Liu, James H. Differentiating active and passive littering: A two-stage process model of littering behavior in public spaces. Environment and Behavior, 35.3, (2003):415–433.Print.
Schultz, Wesley P., Bator, Renee J., Large Brown Lori, Bruni Coral M. and Tobanico Jenniffer J. Littering in Context: Personal and Environmental Predictors of Littering Behavior. Environment and Behavior, 45, (2013): 35-59. Print.
Perry Mark, Juhlin Oskar and Normark Daniel. Laying Waste Together: The Shared Creation and Disposal of Refuse in a Social Context Space and Culture, 13.1, (2010): 75-94. Print.