People often tell me stories of how they didn’t simply stay quiet when encountering a litterer in the act. Some stories were dramatic; like the lady who got out of her car at a red light, went up to the car in front that had just littered, and then threw it back in the offender’s car. Other stories were coy; like the guy who played dumb and walked over to a woman who had casually and deliberately dropped an old receipt on the ground. He picked it up and politely said, “Here, you dropped this.” Of course, it’s very tempting to be snide towards a litterer and say something like, “Were you raised by New Jersey wolves?” Or going one step further and picking the litter up and tossing it in a nearby trashcan, and then sarcastically saying, “Wow, I can’t believe how much effort that took!” But I advocate civility since that usually gets better results. For example, one time while waiting at a red light the man in the car ahead dropped his cigarette butt out the window, so I shouted: “You dropped your cigarette butt!” The man opened his door; leaned out, and then picked it up. (Another time, though, with the identical scenario, the woman in the car made an obscene gesture.)


“waste: Any human activity which absorbs resources, but creates no value”
~Taiichi Ohno