It is really everywhere and it is mind bobbling for me as I try to understand why a large part of humanity just does not seem to care or mind.
I am talking about the millions of bottles, cans and plastic bags we, except me and a few others of course, are throwing everywhere except where it belongs, the trash can.
When I walk through my neighborhood and see an empty power drink can, I not only feel frustration about the fact I do not understand why people would just leave it there, but also wonder why anybody would drink something that is bad for your health. I even start connecting the two and see many more behaviors people show that not necessarily are beneficial for them on the long run.
At this point I am usually lost and go back to the trigger point: trash. OK, let’s see how we can solve this problem for humanity. But it is sooo big! It is a behavior that is apparently in most of us. Ah! So it is possibly programming, maybe epigenetics? The best is to use myself as a reference. Why do I keep an empty can with me (If I ever drink something from a can) until I find a way to properly dispose of it opposite to someone that empties the can, or not even and throws it away just there since it happened to be empty or unwanted?
What prevents me from doing the same? Awareness? Maybe. I am aware of what happens if I drop stuff around me on the street or, even worse, in nature. It will stay there until collected by someone else cleaning up my ‘shit’ or just decades until decomposed. So, my conscience is directing me. But why do I have this awareness and conscience and others do not? I can link my behavior back to my education. As a little kid, as far as I can remember, I had learned to collect my own trash and throw it in the waste bin. It is kind of automated.
The solution is education! Somewhere there is a generation of people that did not teach their kids to be aware of what they consume and the packaging they dispose of. It is also closely related to the way products are presented to the public. Everything is conveniently packaged for easy consumption and easy production of trash. Wait! We can blame the consumer, but what about the companies producing all these products? Can we blame them? Several attempts have been done but no success as long as we do not change the way profit is made and convenience is sold to the lazy consumer.
We are back at the consumer. As blame is not something that will solve anything we need to change consumer behavior. Education again! So schools might play a role. We are trying that too with little success. So? The best way is to educate young parents. If they manage to raise kids that naturally will choose what is best for themselves by respecting themselves and all what is around them, you will make good progress. This is an ideal situation as many parents (to be) are not in a favorable position to do this lacking the resources to provide for real healthy food (unpackaged, unprocessed and made from scratch) for their kids and themselves.
My conclusion is that there is no quick solution. The best I can do is to give the right example and collect when possible the trash so that it does not allow people the excuse that someone did the same before them (wrong example). I can also talk about this topic like sharing my thoughts in this blog so people start to identify the problem and eventually understand how they can help changing this behavioral pattern.