Lazy litterbugs do not respect campus

300 dpi SW Parra color illustration of a slovenly, house fly sitting in a recliner, eating old pizza and drinking some spilling soda. The Fresno Bee 2008

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People seem to have a problem with holding on to trash until they can throw it out where it belongs. Instead of waiting, they will sometimes throw it on the floor or ground. I can understand the idea of “ew, it’s trash,” and the desire to get away from it as quickly as possible, but to throw it on the ground is just lazy and disrespectful.

Our lovely campus with its grass, flowers, and ninja squirrels tends to have bits of garbage strewn about, and with so many people on campus at any given point it can be understandable. But it’s rude to litter because garbage is gross and you want it gone now.

Sometimes it can be hard to find appropriate garbage disposal areas, so here are some helpful tips:

Bathrooms. Where there’s a bathroom, there’s a garbage can in almost all cases. It’s for throwing away the paper for hand washing, because it’s too thick to flush and by the sink anyway. They’re pretty easy to find, too, especially if you are familiar with the area. It’s also easier than looking for a trashcan, which should be your first option when looking for a place to place the trash.

If holding on to the trash seems like a long-term endeavor, consider keeping small sandwich bags in your pockets, like the ones used when you walk the dog. Just make sure to never use that bag again, by throwing it out with garbage inside when possible. You could also just use your pockets. It helps if you have an inside pocket for cigarette packs in your jacket and you don’t smoke, although this only applies if you’re wearing it, obviously.

Garbage belongs with other garbage, not on the ground where it becomes an ugly distraction from the local scenery. It detracts from natural beauty and means whoever put it there was rude to the maintainers and owners of that land, and disrespectful to the people who use that land. Somewhere a Native American is crying.

Yes, it takes a bit of effort and yes, it can be gross, but the benefit of waiting is patience, something the modern generation seems to be sorely lacking even as it matures. With patience comes better ways of living and learning, which last time I checked is why we are here, unless people like spending thousands of dollars to use buildings falling apart from age and neglect for the fun of it. But I digress.

Besides patience, you also demonstrate respect for other people and their property, which makes you a better person and a better citizen. Better yet, when people see something is clean, they’re less likely to want to place trash there, whereas if it already has garbage on it, what’s one more piece of trash going to do? Trash begets trash, and the only way to stop it is to stop placing the trash where it doesn’t belong.

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