Take Your Litter Home With You - Guarantee It Goes in The Bin!
The litter issue in Northern Ireland is cause for a constant state of concern. When is the last time you went out for a walk and didn’t see rubbish laying on the ground or bins spilling over?
The best thing to do to ensure our local areas are clean and litter free is to take your litter home with you. It’s guaranteed to go in the bin and you know it’s looked after instead of leaving it to chance. We need a litter revolution. It’s crippling our outdoors and we should really strive at every opportunity to take it home with us.
Here’s 3 reasons why you should take your litter home with you:
Littering can have terrible effects on our natural environments and can stick around for much longer than you think. Orange skins and apple cores might seem like they’re okay to drop on the ground as they are natural products but they can take months or even years to break down. In fact, if you dropped a banana peel in a grassy bank, you could be seeing that same banana peel for 2 years! Definitely not a-peel-ing.
2. Animal Scavengers
The other worrying thing about leaving behind rubbish is that animals might eat it, which in turn could make them sick – even if it is fruit or natural produce. Animals often learn to depend on humans leaving things behind to survive, instead of searching for their own food, they’ll wait for the crumbs to drop. This can increase the number of pests or scavengers in your local areas – not ideal! Another dilemma is that the animals become dependent upon the human food which can stop for any number of reasons and the animals will struggle to feed themselves.
3. Overflowing Bins
The other misconception is that leaving litter by the bin, even when its full is okay. It’s not. Sadly, our volunteers and parks staff are struggling to keep up with the workload and could really use your help. Many popular areas don’t have many bins and those which do fill up quickly with more and more people getting outside because of the pandemic. The limited number of staff who look after emptying the bins can’t keep up with the sheer volume of rubbish.
Now that you know why you should take it home with you, you might be wondering how you can help? Here’s our advice:
- Use reusable cups and bottles where possible as you will want to keep these.
- Always keep some bin bags in your car or smaller food bags in your pockets or backpacks. This will make it easier to carry home.
- If you pack it in, be prepared to pack it out. Take responsibility for your own litter.
Doing the above will also help you to adhere to Leave No Trace ‘s sixth principle which is to ‘Dispose of Waste Properly’.
Really want to help tackle litter in the outdoors? Then why not take part in one of the following litter picks or register your own:
- Live Here Love Here Litter Picks
- Carrick Cottage Cafe on 1st May
- Lagan Towpath – Coop Coffee in Drumbeg are offering a free coffee for every bag of litter you pick
Check out comedian Shane Todd cleaning up the Gold Coast and keeping to the #RightSideOfOutside in his latest video where he tells us to’ take your litter home with you’!
The Rightside of Outside Campaign is Funded by