By: Lynne Hart
Every day our hands come in contact with the world.
If we actually pay attention to what passes through our hands every day, we would be amazed. The touch of a baby’s skin, the soap and water we wash with, the cooking utensils and food we use to prepare meals, newspapers and magazines, fast-food wrappers, boxes and bags. We touch flowers and weeds. We pet our dogs, cats, horses, and other furry and feathered companions.
The items that find their way into and out of our hands are endless.
What we do with what we touch is our responsibility. We can choose to be gentle or rough when touching living things. We can give consideration to the other objects with which we come in contact or we can treat them with total disregard. Do we gently pet the dog? Do we handle food with love and care?
How do we handle things that pass through our hands and then are to be discarded? We make a decision for every bottle, can, plastic bag, junk mail item, cigarette filter, and candy wrapper we handle. It is our choice to make every single time.
Do we flick the cigarette butt out of the car window or onto the ground, or do we dispose of it properly, keeping in mind the poisons added to the environment when carelessly flicked? Do we leave the empty nachos container and drink cup under the bleacher when we leave a track meet or football game? What do we do with the candy wrapper once that chocolate bar is eaten? Do we put it in our pocket until we find a trash can, or do we drop it where we are? Do we toss the aluminum can into the trash can because it is easier, or do we make an effort to recycle and preserve our natural resources for future generations?
Every choice we make impacts our world. It is a hefty responsibility to which we may give little thought.
We are all aware of what litter looks like. We see it on nearly every road we travel. Do we give any consideration to how that litter affects our property values, or what it does to our ground water, or how it could injure living creatures?
It is your choice and your responsibility to accept the consequences for the choices you make. If you choose to toss that litter or send recyclable materials to the landfill, then you must accept the responsibility for the damage caused. You have to own it.
When you choose to hold onto that trash until you can dispose of it properly, celebrate your choice! When you take the extra few minutes to separate recycling from your trash, congratulate yourself for your concern for the environment and future generations!
Take responsibility for everything that passes through your hands. It is your choice. It is your responsibility.
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful