Volunteer write-up: When in doubt, don't throw it out!
By Johanna G. 15 years old, Zamboanga City
Some places have implemented laws to prevent the improper throwing of garbage. Others have imposed fines over the throwing of a simple candy wrapper on the street. Unfortunately many might view this as an over-exaggeration; as if such fines were too much over a simple wrapper. But we have to think deeply about how being mindful of our waste like this can actually make us better people.
Trying to understand the issues behind throwing small things away wherever we walk is futile to most of us. It is just one piece of plastic, most would say. To the eyes of many, it will not hurt anyone to throw away a small wrapper. But try to think of the many others who do the same thing every single day, at around four to five wrappers thrown on the street. And to think of it, it can be an easy habit to make, throwing our wrappers on the street every time we are eating candy.
But it is not just candy wrappers that we should be aware of. Even plastic bags and empty bags of chips or food count too. Think about how small the candy wrapper is compared to larger plastic bags. Is there a good chance that a street sweeper will come out of nowhere to clean it up? And what about rural areas where sweepers are not that commonplace?
The saying "small things make a big difference” can be applied to this. Small pieces of plastic can block small passageways of water in canals which can make water stagnant. These areas can be breeding grounds for insects like mosquitoes and can bring diseases like dengue and malaria. It can also cause flooding when heavy rains come. Garbage scattered everywhere is also unpleasant to see and makes public spaces dirty. Who wants to have a dirty home and increase the risk of disease because of this?
We can prevent all this from happening. We can follow our laws to protect the environment. But it all comes down to one thing: ourselves. We mus discipline ourselves to be responsible for our surroundings. Instead of throwing our garbage on the street, we should keep it in a small bag until we can find a trash can to throw it in. Segregate non-biodegradable waste from the biodegradable ones. Make our surroundings clean as possible. With these “micro” efforts, we can make a “macro” effect on our environment. And a positive one too!