More than a cup

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

I

Treat your roads and highways like you’d treat the floor­ing in your liv­ing room.

t’s a com­mon sight to come across if you spend any amount of time driv­ing along the many roads that link com­mu­ni­ties across New­found­land and Labrador.

From the cor­ner of your eye, you might no­tice a small item rolling on the ground. It’s not some­thing that would cause you sud­denly swerve to the side and po­ten­tially en­dan­ger your life.

No, a used cof­fee cup or tin of soda isn’t the sort of thing that will cause im­me­di­ate harm. How­ever, that’s not to say these sorts of ac­tions come with­out con­se­quences.

It’s shock­ing that among mo­torists there re­mains some with the at­ti­tude that our roads and highways make for a good waste­bas­ket. Maybe one empty pa­per bag from a fast-food chain on its own doesn’t amount to much when it’s tossed out the win­dow, but that ac­tion com­bined with those of oth­ers cre­ates a rip­ple ef­fect.

Over time, garbage piles up on the side of a road. It might be out of sight and out of mind when you’re driv­ing on a high­way that’s raised slightly, but there are other crea­tures that might no­tice it.

How about moose, for ex­am­ple?

Those an­i­mals might take an in­ter­est in scraps of food along the side of the road. That goes for bears too. We should not be of­fer­ing in­cen­tives for large an­i­mals to make road­side stops for grub.

In the case of an empty cup of cof­fee or a can of pop, is it re­ally that hard to leave this waste in a cup holder? All ve­hi­cles nowa­days have cup hold­ers. One can easily leave that sort of waste in the ve­hi­cle un­til a des­ti­na­tion is reached or a pit stop is made to use the bath­room or per­haps grab another cof­fee cup. Dump the garbage there.

It’s hard to fathom how thought­less peo­ple can be with their waste. There should be enough space in their ve­hi­cles to keep plas­tic bags handy for garbage. It can’t be that big a nui­sance.

The re­spon­si­bil­ity of look­ing af­ter our sur­round­ings ul­ti­mately lies with us. If we con­sider how our ac­tions con­trib­ute to a whole, the de­ci­sion of whether or not to throw waste out the driver-side win­dow should be an easy one to make.

Treat your roads and highways like you’d treat the floor­ing in your liv­ing room. Don’t in­dis­crim­i­nately dump on it.

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