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Springtime thoughts turn to littering

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The other day I was sitting at a bus stop when something infuriating happened.


The guy sitting beside me on the bus stop bench had been drinking a bottle of vitamin water, and instead of walking the four steps it would have taken to toss it in the recycling bin, he decided it would be funny to roll it onto the road. I was astonished.  


There were two other men waiting at the same bus stop who also saw it but said nothing. I sat there for a long time trying to come up with something to say but I was afraid. I am only 14.

The fact that the two grown men didn’t have enough guts to tell the guy to pick up his garbage, that he had so carelessly thrown, left me speechless.


As I got on the bus I was still fuming from the fact that some people couldn’t give the time of day or thought of our Earth being destroyed. That guy chose a vitamin water. Why? Because it was a healthier choice? What about our Earth’s health?


That got me thinking. Some bottled water companies are getting better with the controversy of us destroying our planet. They make their bottles thinner and say, "Our bottles are now made with 30% recycled plastic!" But what happens, when someone is just too lazy to recycle their bottle?


Many places such as fast-food restaurants and mass producers are turning around and trying to become greener. But what about the other places that choose to continue to use non-biodegradable products?


When I searched the net looking for a law, or a bylaw that said it is illegal to litter in Winnipeg, I came up with nothing. I know that it is wrong to litter, but is it a law, and can it really be a law if it isn’t enforced?


If you search the Manitoba Environment Act you’ll get a page that says this: The intent of this Act is to develop and maintain an environmental protection and management system in Manitoba which will ensure that the environment is protected and maintained in such a manner as to sustain a high quality of life, including social and economic development, recreation and leisure for this and future generations.


The fact that the government is only partly addressing our environmental problems isn’t right.

If you added up all the litter in Winnipeg, I’m sure you’d find that it would be seen as a significant pollutant. Imagine that. And that’s only Winnipeg.


What I’m trying to get at is, it’s not just about a water bottle, or being angry that someone would be so careless with our Earth. It’s about littering. You don’t have to share my opinions, but littering has to stop, and if writing about it is one way to help the environment, I hope it will make a difference. Not saying anything, and ignoring the fact isn’t right, but saying something and being ignored is worse.


Let’s stop littering and start helping our environment.


Sabrina Zacharias is a Windsor Park-based writer.


Neighbourhood Forum is a readers’ column. If you live in The Lance area and would like to contribute to this column, contact jim.timlick@canstarnews.com.

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