In a constantly changing world, with more and more people being added to it by the second that means more and more trash is ahead of us. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in America alone, each person produces about 4.40 pounds of trash per day. With a population of over 318 million people, it’s absurd to think each piece of garbage is going to make it in the dumpster, no matter how much we wish it weren’t so.
Wikipedia defines littering as,
“Litter consists of waste products that have been disposed improperly, without consent, at an inappropriate location. To litter means to drop and leave objects, often man-made, such as aluminum cans, cardboard boxes or plastic bottles on the ground and leave them there indefinitely or for others to dispose of as opposed to disposing of them properly.“
45+ Spectacular Ways To Prevent Litter and Save the Environment
There are all kinds of bugs in the world, but the litterbug by far is one of the worst. However, with that in mind, listed below are 45 ways you can prevent litter in your everyday life.
1. Don’t be a part of the problem- The one thing I am certain you have control over when it comes to litter is the way you either help or hinder the problem. Make sure your trash makes it into the trash every time. It’s quite often to see people throwing garbage on the roads because either they are too lazy to throw it in the trash bin or they just don’t care for the environment.
2. Create less waste – Creating less waste is the first step in decreasing the rubbish that ends up in our environment. Start with bringing reusable bags to the supermarket!
3. Clean up litter in your free time- – We create an awful lot of rubbish. It’s great to reduce the waste you create, but it’s inevitable that your household will create rubbish. When you find yourself just hanging out around the house, bored, with nothing to do, turn off the TV and go clean the streets.
4. Remove your rubbish responsibly –We need to be responsible for our own waste, and it is one of the best ways that you can join the fight against litter. Not just picking up litter but disposing of it in the appropriate bin is a powerful way to make sure that less debris ends up in our streets and ecosystems.
5. Get your neighbors involved- Ask the people who live around you to help keep the place you both call home clean. Places with trash all around become home ground for mosquitoes, which bring various diseases with them.
6. Ensure the lid on the trash can is secured- Most lids close fairly tightly on their own; however, if you’re having an issue with your container, bungee cords or a length of rope will help.
7. Don’t leave out unopened boxes- For those who have curbside service, unsecured boxes make it easy for animals to get into your garbage or even simply for the wind to float your trash away.
8. Carry a litter bag in your car- Too many people underestimate the amount of litter that can fall out of a cluttered car. It is therefore considered wise to carry a litter bag always with you and hang on to litter until you find a garbage or recycling receptacle.
9. Make bags- If you’re handy with crafts or know a website online where you can make custom bags, create some with a positive message and hand them out to neighbors, friends, and businesses. Not only will it inspire them to contribute their part towards the environmentbut it will also help you to build relationships with them.
10. Set up litter cleaning groups- Whether you have a few good friends or decide to go bigger and create a MeetUp group, or find volunteers on Craigslist, more people helping means a cleaner Earth.
11. Adopt a highway- Formally adopt a highway and make it your duty to keep it clean. Try to involve your friends with you.
12. Reach out to local groups- Ensure that they have litter bags and proper disposal methods for any outdoor events.
13. Plant flowers- It is statistically proven that people are less likely to litter when there are flowers on the ground.
14. Reach out to local businesses- Ask them to be sure they are provided their employees with proper waste receptacles.
15. Make time once a week to pick up- If you don’t want to pick up trash every day, maybe cut out an hour or two once a week and clean the streets around your neighborhood and the surrounding areas.
16. Make signs- They can be as fancy as you want, as long as they get the Please Do Not Littermessage across. Or maybe some environment-related slogans that can get people away from throwing litter on the road.
17. Ask businesses to put trash cans out front their stores- Many people will give up and just drop whatever garbage is in their hands after not finding a trash can for a few minutes.
18. Educate and ask local construction companies for help- Many construction companies don’t use a cover on their vehicles, causing trash to blow out of the bed. Kindly remind them that it is necessary to keep our environment free of garbage.
19. Call your leasing office- Ask that they have enough receptacles out in the common areas, as well as bags available to clean up after animals.
20. Donate trash containers to the community- If you have the finances, call areas where you think there needs to be a container, purchase one, and donate it to the cause.
21. Choose to package wisely – Whenever you are purchasing something, consider alternatives to plastic like glass or another natural and sustainable packaging. Glass is made mostly from sand and recycled glass, is reusable, recyclable and does not harm oceans or marine life.
22. Choose reusable containers –Choose reusable containers for food and beverages to live a more eco-friendly life. According to “National Geographic,” only 9% of plastic bottles are recycled. Therefore reusable containers can serve as an ideal replacement for bottled water, whether at home or on-the-go. Choose glass or stainless steel instead of plastic, which can hold hot or cold food and beverages, and help protect the contents from any chemicals.
23. Reduce your single-use footprint –Always carry reusable bags and containers to the store. Some foods like cereal, pasta and rice can be purchased from bulk bins and stored in a glass or stainless-steel container. You can further cut down on plastic waste by switching to reusable straws that are available in glass, stainless steel or bamboo.
24. Remind others- Not in a mean and bossy way, a simple, friendly reminder goes a long way.
25. Ask smokers to throw away butts- Roughly 38% of the US’ litter comes from cigarette butts.
26. Carry portable ashtrays- If you can, have a couple on you to hand out to smokers in need.
27. Recycle when possible- By recycling, we can help reduce the amount of waste in the world by re-using. When you reduce the amount of waste that gets generated in your home, you actually reduce the amount of garbage that ends up at landfill sites.
28. Recycle better- We need to know what we can and can’t recycle in our community. Items like disposable cups, greasy pizza boxes, non-recyclable plastic containers (like those used for yogurt) and take-out containers can contaminate entire batches of recycling. According to “National Geographic,” a whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled and can linger in the environment for hundreds of years, contributing to ocean pollution.
Glass containers are 100 percent recyclable; steel and aluminum cans and cardboard are also easily recyclable.
29. Beautify an area near you – Beautify your neighborhood and community, including landscaping and repairing fences. Attractive, maintained neighborhoods are littered less, and research shows that they are usually safer, too.
30. Clean up after your pet- It should go without saying, but cleaning up after your pet is not only required by law but just common courtesy.
31. Make sure all bags are secure- As an extra precaution, make sure your waste bags are tied tightly at the top before putting them into the trash can.
32. Tie up loose paper- Or at least ball it up, loose paper is easily picked up and carried by the wind. Though a lot of it is biodegradable, some paper has dangerous chemicals that can hurt the Earth.
33. Volunteer to lead a litter prevention education group- Take some time, read up on litter prevention, make a slideshow or a small pamphlet, and set up a class at your local recreation center or library.
34. Adopt small areas around the community- It doesn’t have to be anything official, simply take responsibility for keeping one area clean around you.
35. Reach out to local events- Too many times, local events, especially outdoor venues, don’t provide enough trash containers.
36. Talk to the food trucks- With the ever-expanding food truck business, many don’t provide proper trash disposal options, offer bags or small cans to ensure no plastics make their way onto the ground.
37. If you see it, report it- Many people forget that not only is littering bad for our environment, it’s also a crime. I’m not saying call your local police department every time you see someone throw a candy wrapper on the ground. However, if you notice a repeat offender and they haven’t been listening to the kind words you’ve offered, it may be time to ask for help from the authorities.
38. Educate the community children- Children have an immense ability to help in the battle against litter. Not only will they religiously pick up trash if properly educated, but they can also be soldiers in delivering your message.
39. Make it fun-Create games or have clean up’s followed by pizza and drinks at a friend’s or local restaurant.
40. If you live near the water- Head down to the docks and ask the harbormaster to ensure there are proper disposal receptacles for all fish, bait, and tackle.
41. Reach out to local schools- Ask them to hold an educational class or afterschool group dedicated to litter prevention. Many schools already have programs and may need help in certain areas, feel free to volunteer and get involved with the children.
42. Create a website- In today’s technological age creating a website (or other online groups, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and promoting through various online channels is a great way to reach people and get them involved.
43. Contact the government- When in doubt, reach out to the local government and ask if there is anything you or they can do to continue helping the community keep the streets clean.
44. Set an example- Finally, led by example. Of all the things mentioned in this list, none is more powerful than the will of one person. Pick up one piece of litter every day. You never know when that one day will come around, a person sees you doing the right thing and decides it’s a change for the better they should also make.
45. Report litterbugs – Littering is not only morally wrong; it’s illegal. To conclude, if we all do our part, even if it’s just a little bit a day, here and there, we can change the world and make our Earth shine. Not only will this make our planet a great place to live and survive, but it will also reduce the number of health problems that occur due to places that become breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes.