I’m disgusted. Someone dumped their trash along my road. If I could figure out who it was, I’d be happy to share the information with our local conservation agents so they could write a ticket for it. The fine is up to $1,000 and a year in jail for littering in Missouri. I guess the lousy person who did it hasn’t bothered to read the No MOre Trash signs along the roads—or didn’t care.
No MOre Trash is an awareness campaign begun by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Transportation. When we started the campaign several years ago, I got lots of positive responses from Missourians who cared about living in a clean, green state. In recent surveys and focus groups, they continue to say it’s important to them to have clean water and clean communities.
Research has shown that more littered places have higher rates of vandalism and crime. It’s for all these reasons that many people join together to do litter cleanups each year. The sad thing is that there seems to always be more litter…so who is not getting the message? How can we do a better job of making this a personal value for everyone in our state? Do the people who flick cigarette butts, food wrappers, cans or plastic out their car window realize that each piece of litter adds up and hurts the quality of life here? Adds to the pile of debris that’s going to lay around for years?
It starts with a person, a parent, a teacher. Share the value of a litter-free place with your friends and family. Set an example. Help your community with litter cleanups and awareness efforts. Keep the drumbeat going for a clean, litter-free place to live. Unlike some problems, this is one each of us can help solve.