A (true) tale about litter and youths
I’ve been doing grounds maintenance for a local church lately. Hugely satisfying as it’s been incredibly overgrown so has been a job that I could really get my teeth into with a fair bit of autonomy. I’m almost passionate about the work I’m doing there. Today I spent 5 hours in the blazing sun clearing some rampant heather that has taken over one of the old church yards. It was a huge task made all the more difficult due to the lumpy ground and the gravestones hidden amongst the tall invader.
Anyway, going back a couple of days and before clearing some long grass, I encountered a load of cigarette butts, plastic bottles and torn plastic bags next to the bench seat. There’s only one. I was livid especially since there’s a bin just 25 metres away and directly next to the gated entrance. Obviously I picked most of it up except for the butts as there were too many and I had other tasks to do.
So, this evening I returned to the yard to sit on the bench, do some studying and admire my days work in the warm evening sun. However, there was a group of kids that had beaten me to it. About seven of them around 16 years old I guess. So I approached them and asked if they were there yesterday and made a comment about the butts They said they weren’t and blamed it on some younger kids that they had seen. They were clearly stoned but I couldn’t smell weed in the still air. Then I noticed a Lucozade bottle and some more litter on the ground next to them. That was it. I just let rip! I won’t go into what the full conversation entailed but I told them about the bins, use them. Then off I rode back home expecting them to leave even more litter. Anyway I decided to return an hour and a half later and the group had gone but, so too was all the rubbish. Every last cigarette butt! Checked the bins and there everything was all tied up neatly in a plastic bag!
That to me is a win!Posted 2 months agoTheBrickMember
In other words you met a group of good kids who probably had not considered the litter as much of an issue.
Your technique would not work on many teenagers in some areas.
On a realated note it is amazing that people who would not litter will throw a cigarette butt awayPosted 2 months agohols2Member
Are you not interfering with God’s plan? Having the bin a distance away is a test to weed out the sinners from the virtuous. By ripping into them and scaring them into tidying up, you’ve denied them the opportunity to become virtuous through free-will, so they haven’t actually demonstrated that they aren’t sinners. Their souls will now be damned to burn in hellfire for eternity because of your meddling.
Also, I don’t think Jesus is into losing your shit over kids littering. I think you’re supposed to be tolerant and understanding. (At least that’s what I’ve heard, I would actually know from personal experience.)Posted 2 months agoconvertSubscriber
Litter – either I’m growing old or it is becoming more of an issue. Probably the former.
Interesting seeing footage from Wimbledon and especially ‘Henman Hill’ later in the evening when a good number of folk have gone – covered in the stuff. And this is a relatively self selecting group of folk who are not bottom rung of the ladder material so it is pervasive throughout society.
I drive past the Boomtown site regularly and after the festival is over the carnage is unreal. Apparently they have a team picking it all up for 10 days after the festival has gone. I do wonder if you experience that and see dumping your shit as the social norm you carry that back into your everyday living too.
Well done OP – It needs people to say it like it is to make a difference.Posted 2 months agoDezBSubscriber
It’s down to the parents. So many kids just aren’t taught to respect the environment (or anything else for that matter). I recall a few years back, my son having spent some time with his cousins, he was disgusted by their attitude to littering. actually went round picking their rubbish up and binning it.
I’d say the op is quite lucky that the churchyard kids lack of respect didn’t extend to him. Pretty rare round here, that would be.Posted 2 months agoconvertSubscriber
I recall a few years back, my son having spent some time with his cousins, he was disgusted by their attitude to littering. actually went round picking their rubbish up and binning it.
Cousins – so either your sibling’s kids or your wife’s sibling’s kids. Did they have a bad attitude to littering when they were children themselves do you recall? How did you learn to parent the right way and they didn’t?
Schools can help too. We spend a lot of time with our lot trying to educate about this sort of stuff but also elevating the profile and the respect levels afforded to those faced with picking up the litter they drop. Somehow we have got to the point where the kids self police – dropping litter means generating extra work for Mark and that’s not a cool thing to do. I think sometimes schools make litter picking a demeaning punishment; can be counteractive imo. Bizarrely making them watch a member of staff they like have to pick it up and not being able to help can be more profound.Posted 2 months agodeadkennySubscriber
So many kids just aren’t taught to respect the environment
And it continues into adulthood. Out in the countryside in the hot weather recently and shocks me the amount of adults who just drop stuff where they stand, leave picnic stuff, disposable BBQs and piles of litter. Seemingly responsible looking types too, some with family. The attitude seems to be someone else will just clear it up.Posted 2 months ago
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