February 2003
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Protect your environment
By Shad A., Grade 11, Oakwood High, Mississauga, ON

Looking around my community, I see many people who demand respect, yet do nothing to earn it. They feel superior and entitled to some sort of homage. This attitude can even go a step further. It seems to me that this conscious thought pattern is a contributing factor to the problem of littering.

Littering comes down to disrespect. This frame of mind leads individuals not to make a trip to a nearby trash receptacle and instead settle for tossing their garbage aside ... any place is fine. As a result of their laziness and disrespect, these individuals' actions lead to plants and animals dying prematurely. Plants react differently to the decomposition of garbage. Usually, the surrounding soil becomes inadequate to continue nurturing their development.

Plastic fragments and glass bottle shards harm animals. Some simply stumble on broken glass or plastic, or are cut by aluminum cans. Their wounds often become infected and result in disability.

When I think of littering, I think of its effects. I try and respect nature and its creatures. Humans need to learn to stop worrying about dominating and instead live in harmony. When I look around and witness people's immaturity, it is clear why so many creatures are victims of people's disregard. It should be a common courtesy to throw away your own garbage. Would you like to clean up after someone else, or feel the effects of their filth? Of course not!

What littering boils down to is the fact that people need to learn to respect one another and their surroundings. No one wants to live in filth and suffer its affects. We need to learn to live clean lives that contribute to our environment, and ourselves.


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