Leave our landscape litter-free

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Go for a walk, and there it is. Head to the lake, it's there, too. Drive to the next town, and you'll likely encounter numerous examples of it along the way.

"It" is litter, trash, refuse. Whatever you call it, it's an offense to anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

This is the time of the year when more of us can get outside -- barring extended days of triple-digit weather -- and the irresponsible behavior of the winter makes itself known.

Cigarette packs and losing scratch-off tickets seem to be among the most popular litter-fodder decorating our finely-manicured neighborhood lawns.

Dirty disposable diapers, beverage containers and broken glass can make a trip to the beach disgusting and hazardous.

Explore a roadside right-of-way, and you would be amazed at the flotsam and jetsam of the modern motoring era.

Rural roads are festooned with all manner of rejected household furniture and appliances, placed there by scofflaws too careless to dispose of them properly.

It's no wonder our rural neighbors take a dim view of some "city" folk.

But what can be done?

For a start, how about setting a good example for our children? Make sure that gum wrapper goes into the car's waste basket instead of out the window. That cigarette? Tossing it out the window could ignite a major conflagration in current conditions. Better yet, drop the habit altogether.

And the lake? Most public beaches have trash containers available. Use them. See that your friends and neighbors do, too.

Are you in a service club or organization? Take part in the Nebraska Department of Roads Adopt-A-Highway program.

In April, some 477 Nebraska groups, comprising 5,950 volunteers, cleaned 1,908 miles of highways. That's more than twice the number of miles cleaned of trash only three years ago.

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