Pick That Trash Up!

We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ― David Brower, author, environmentalist

You think you’re so cool
Zipping along in your rat-mobile.
Nobody would ever guess
You were raised in a barn.

That’s what it’s called, you know,
When you act like a pig.
Sad to say, even pigs act better than you,
Most times, anyway.

You think nobody saw you
As you slowed in traffic, stealthily
Lowered your passenger window,
Looked right and left and then…

Casually tossed that crumpled brown sack
Of fast food take-out into the street,
Where it rolled in the wind
And came to rest by the side of the road.

Well, somebody noticed, Buster — me,
And I’m not happy with your littering,
Dumping your garbage on city streets when
There are plenty of receptacles around.

It’s people like you who give our city
A bad name, a reputation for trashiness.
And it’s people like you who don’t care
That others have to live in your filth.

Maybe it’s an age or gender thing,
But somebody should’ve taught you better.
And if they did, and you didn’t listen,
Then you’re a bigger pig than you appear.

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27 thoughts on “Pick That Trash Up!

    • I’ve seen people flick cigarettes out their car window, and that’s bad enough. A full sack of leftover food containers seems somehow worse. He needed a good slapping!

    • I’ve seen lots of that, Barb! I always find it disgusting, too, because we ALL know cars have ashtrays. If they don’t intend to clean them out once in a while, why don’t they quit smoking??!

  1. Oh how I hate litter bugs let me count the ways. And what about all those kids at sporting events that leave water bottles behind. The school by my house is a mess after sporting events. I once started a fist fight between a taxi driver and a chevy owner over littering – long story, but these days I just honk loudly. Well Said! Poetic justice to trashy litter bugs everywhere.

    • Thanks for agreeing with me, Katybeth! I’m pretty sure most sporting events have trash barrels just waiting for stuff like water bottles to be tossed in. You have to wonder if they’re sooooo far apart that folks refuse to use them. What must their homes look like, if people are used to dropping their trash willy-nilly?!?

  2. It’s amazing the things that people casually toss out of their cars. It’s as if they think they’re invisible or just feel that if it’s not their own street, then it doesn’t matter. You tell ’em!

    • This one was traveling in front of me, going slow, so I moved to the next lane over. He slowed down even more, so I watched in the rear view mirror as he made sure nobody was around, then tossed his trash out. Talk about pre-meditated!!

  3. For a while, things were really good around here. We had a terrific “Don’t Mess With Texas” campaign with all the big-time singers involved, and it was great. Now, the campaign has disappeared and the trash is increasing. I really don’t understand it — except that, when you think about it, people keep throwing their trash around social media, too. Maybe the fast food wrappers in the street and the comments thrown out so carelessly on Facebook and Twitter are related! Pick it all up, sez me!

    • I remember the “Don’t Mess With Texas” campaign, but I hadn’t realized its death and the increase in littering were related. Hmm, you might be onto something! I know you’re right about the proliferation of trash, though. I imagine the anonymity of the Internet contributes to the comfort of those who sprinkle garbage wherever they go. Sad, isn’t it? We’ve made it so easy to dispose of trash, to recycle, yet still people litter. At least it keeps the refuse companies and their employees in business!

  4. I live in New York…used to that. People who litter don’t care. It comes from poor parenting. If you raise careless kids…they will become careless adults. My daughter went to Canada and she said everything was so clean. Maybe it’s our culture? Are we spoiled?

    I raised 6 children and I taught them to respect others, I taught them manners and I taught them to keep themselves clean and their environment. It hurts to see such disrespect for our neighborhoods and communities. I see people spiting in the street. I thought that was illegal.

    God help us!

    • I HATE seeing people spit in public, Tanya! So many germs!! I admire your parenting, and I know your kids turned out great because of it. I tried to do the same with my son. It wouldn’t cross his mind to toss garbage out his car window! I agree that part of it is a matter of self-respect and respect for others. If they didn’t get that at home, then they should have gotten it in school, where anti-littering campaigns have been prevalent for decades!!

        • Aw, he’s just staying “attached” to you! My son purposefully leaves stuff at home when he leaves — I guess, so I won’t forget him, ha!!

  5. This poem made me laugh, but littering is no laughing matter. One time my older son (he was probably 7 or 8 at the time) busted someone littering. It took everything I had to not laugh when he ran over and picked up the trash and said “you dropped this” as he handed it to the surprised man. He was such a helpful little guy, haha.

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