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Fittingly Mad: Trash on the Trail

The other day I went for a hike with my girls on a gorgeous sunny day. Everything was green, the birds were singing, and we even got to see a woodpecker. That's not all we saw though. One of my girls said, "Mommy, what's that?" Eww, there was trash on the trail. What is up with that?

On our 2 hour hike we saw energy bar wrappers, empty water bottles, dirty tissues, cigarette butts, a Diet Coke can, and we even saw a sock. This made me so angry, to see people just trashing the trail like it was a garbage dump.

I happened to have a plastic bag in my lumbar pack that held our snacks. So we spent our entire hike picking up after people who were too lazy and inconsiderate to hold onto their litter and dispose of it properly!

Come on people. It's bad enough that we trash our streets and highways, but just because there's no trash can on the trail, (and nobody around to remind you) doesn't give you the right to ditch your junk wherever you please.

I'm sure you've all seen this before too. It just gives me this awful feeling inside to go to a beautiful place and see garbage. It's disrespectful, knowing these preserved places are slowly dwindling away. We really need to work hard at preserving what little natural areas we have left, and cleaning up after ourselves really isn't asking too much.

When it comes to litter bugs, what do you think?


Join The Conversation
DCStar DCStar 9 years
Fit, that's awesome! I have this compulsion to clean too. It also extends to the kitchen at my office - I'm forever wiping away sugar spills and cleaning things just because a mess really grosses me out.
smartypantssugar smartypantssugar 10 years
Littering is my number one, all-time pet peeve. It's just plain lazy and disrespecful of other people.
GeikoSera GeikoSera 10 years
It makes me so angry! I was fuming to see broken glass on my favorite biking trail last week! :(
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
DH is a fisherman and is constantly bringing garbage back. People often leave tangled fishing line on the shore, or even in the water. Something that could so easily kill an animal and could easily be thrown away, yet they were too lazy to put it in the trash. The worst part is really when they go somewhere MEANT for nature lovers to throw their garbage. I now carry rubber tipped gardening gloves (Oh! ALWAYS wear gloves!) and large plastic garbage bags in my trunk for impromptu stops at the park. Because sadly, I don't ever get to ENJOY my time there. I can't turn a blind eye to the garbage like a lot of people can. I know what difference I can make and knowing that, can't look away. So, every time we go hiking or play at the park or fish - we go knowing we will spend the entire time picking up someone else's trash. I'm not going to keep linking my blog in your comments ;) but I wrote for Earth Day about our family garbage pick up day. The kids were really happy to help. It's disheartening, but I see it as this: I can be one of the many having fun or I can be the one cleaning up after the many. Maybe it makes me a martyr, but at least I'm leaving the world just a little better than it was.
Vanilla-Bean Vanilla-Bean 10 years
It's lazy and disrespectful.
SU3 SU3 10 years
Disgusting! :MOB: I agree with all the above and especially what chatoyante said. It's hypocritical for someone to go out on a hike and then throw their trash on the side of the trail. It's basically laziness and the lack of common decency for the environment and other people around you. However! I think it's awesome that you and your girls helped out by picking up the trash. :notworthy: :D
Bonne Bonne 10 years
I organized a volunteer group with the local park. We'd go when its busy and pick up the litter along with posting information stating that the littering results in a fine. Eventually, people stopped...
JDLNeil JDLNeil 10 years
I had the same experience only worse. I was jogging along minding my own business on a gorgeous sunday morning, when lo and behold! BEER CANS EVERYWHERE. I spent at least 10 minutes picking them up and it was so gross. The smell of beer sludge really put a damper in my morning. Bad form, baaaaaaaaaddddd form.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 10 years
I get upset when I see garbage lying on the side of roads and highways. Littering in national parks is despicible enough, but that doesn't mean that ordinary ground should be covered in trash and debris either.
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
Fit, I'm glad you picked up that garbage. Whenever I'm out for a walk in the woods or just wherever, if I see trash on the ground I pick it up. The feeling of helping out the environment and doing my part to keep it clean trumps the grossness of cleaning up other people's crap.
chatoyante chatoyante 10 years
Littering anywhere is wrong. However, I think that in this day and age it is so hard to get into a remotely "natural" space (without seeing traces of people) that it's inexcusable for people to litter hiking trails, state parks, etc. It's incredibly hypocritical for someone to go out on a hike and then pitch their trash at the side of the trail, thereby ruining the experience for the next person. How lazy do you have to be? It's not like plastic bags are a new invention; if you're going to hike, bring one and USE IT. If there is a trash can to use, all the better. Props for making the place nicer for the next hiker, Fit!! I used to live adjacent to a beautiful national park, home to endangered species, and the road that the local residents used to drive through the park was one of the worst littered places I have ever seen. Fast-food bags, boxes, beer cans...It makes me sick just to think about it. I'm not sure where people got the message that the world is their own personal trash bin, but something needs to change. It's gross.
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