Wednesday, March 13

Keep the Planet Clean

Did you know littering Is Bad for the Earth and our Environment?

How many times have you littered? Littering may seem like a small act at the time, but it has big consequences that go far beyond the eyesore littering brings. From urban streets to clean natural habitats, litter poses significant threats to our environment, wildlife, and our own health. Let’s explore why littering is a really big problem and why we should all focus on keeping our surroundings clean. Let's work together to make our world a better place for future generations. Put litter where it belongs, in trash bins or recycling bins.

Reasons to put an end to littering:

1. Huge impact on Wildlife

Trapped and Suffocated: Animals can get their heads stuck in discarded containers like jars or cups that smell like food. If they can’t get free, they may suffocate or starve to death.

Cuts and Infections: Broken glass from litter can lead to cuts that may become infected.

Entanglement: Animals can get stuck inside plastic bags, six-pack rings, or tangled in string or netting.

Toxic Ingestion: Eating litter can lead to illness or death in wildlife. Household waste, cleaners, plastics, and latex can be mistaken for food and make animals sick.

2. The Costs of Cleaning Up

Financial Burden: Litter cleanup is very expensive. For instance, the city of Philadelphia spends over $48 million annually on litter prevention and cleanup.

Street Sweeping Programs: Many cities around the world have street sweeping programs to keep trash off the streets and prevent it from entering the stormwater drains. Keeping stormwater drains clean is important.

3. Human Health and Safety

Ocean Pollution: Discarded plastic litter in oceans can reduce tourism, hinder fishing, and threaten human health.

Medical Waste: Hypodermic needles and other medical waste can spread infections and disease. Alway be sure to put medical waste in the appropriate place.

Navigation Hazards: Lines, nets, and debris can interfere with navigation and boat propellers, affecting fishing and safety.

4. Environmental Contamination

Fire Hazards: Discarded cigarettes can cause forest fires.

Chemical Contamination: Cigarette butts contain toxic chemicals like cadmium, lead, and arsenic that can contaminate the environment.

Long Breakdown Time: Many types of litter take years to break down, if they do so at all. Plastic can take forever to break down. When it does it still isn't destroyed and can cause other problems for the environment. 

5. Habitat Destruction

Soil Poisoning: Litter can poison soil and highly affect plant growth.

Water Pollution: Chemicals from litter can leach into groundwater supplies.

Microplastics: Plastics degrade into microplastics, entering food chains when consumed by wildlife.

In conclusion, littering harms not only our immediate surroundings but also our entire planet and future populations. Let’s be responsible heroes of our environment by properly disposing of trash and encouraging others to do the same. Together, we can keep our Earth clean and beautiful for generations to come.

Books about littering:

1. What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick

2. Larry The Litterbug by Matthew Gentry

3. What a Waste by Jess French

4. The Mess That We Made Hardcover by Michelle Lord

Parents/caretakers be sure books are child friendly before reading them to your child/children. 

Keep the planet clean!!

"Cleaning up the environment is like solving a mystery-Who dumped it and where?"--Agatha Christie.

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