Do you remember the Public Service Announcements (PSA) with the Native American, a tear in his eye, looking at trash on the road, by the water, and in the woods? If not, click on this link http://go.osu.edu/BbJ5 to view a few of those PSAs.
That was a few decades ago but that image still comes to mind when I see lots of trash strewn around. These days, we are more mindful of throwing away our trash. We get a drink and throw away the paper from the straw. Gum and candy wrappers, tissues, and paper are not seen like they used to be because we are more mindful of hanging onto them until we see a garbage can. We are more conscious of recycling glass and plastic bottles when possible. Yet trash is still hanging around so maybe we could work to be even more mindful. Often I see fast food containers and wrappings, plastic bags and cigarette butts – especially cigarette butts. By the way, did you know cigarettes are the most littered item in the world – over 4.5 trillion a year worldwide?
I visited a restaurant in Montana this week and when I was leaving I saw a sign that read “Please Do Not Litter In Beautiful Big Sky! Be mindful”. I was touched and pleasantly surprised. Mindfulness means paying attention and being aware of what is going on and what you are doing in the present. So, in the case of littering… pay attention to what you are doing when it comes to discarding your trash. Most of us care about our surroundings. We want to live in a clean and beautiful place. So to see a gentle reminder to care about someone else’s surroundings is wonderful. Hence this is a gentle reminder to be mindful of littering and to keep America beautiful .