Litter Everywhere You Look by Ally Weissman
October 31, 2023, 9:00 a.m.
Hub Lawn

image of lawn with pieces of trash (blue)

In this photograph, you can see vibrant green grass that looks very healthy. You can see a discarded turquoise wrapper and minuscule piece of cotton a few inches away on that clean grass. A garbage can was placed several feet away, showing how easy it would have been to discard it properly. This picture shows how litter is everywhere you look, as a direct result of our actions.

I took this photo because the “Hub Lawn” is a large grass area with a beautiful view of campus. Many students spend time here studying, socializing, or even eating a meal. Garbage cans are placed all over the lawn and surrounding areas, yet trash was still ending up on the ground. The location of the trash compared to the garbage can is so upsetting, knowing how it would just take a few extra steps to throw it away. This picture shows that there is litter everywhere you look, as humans do what is convenient for them and not for the Earth.

At a big campus, having this much pollution is scary and causes such damage to the world. I felt so many emotions when walking to class this morning, paying close attention to the surrounding areas. It is so upsetting to see how individuals are being careless, irresponsible, and inattentive to the world around us. Although I was so frustrated when seeing this litter being so close to the garbage can, I realized I also needed to admire the beauty in the picture. Humans need to find the positives rather than focus on the negatives. The morning I took this picture, I was focusing on finding the litter, problems with garbage, and just observing what was wrong with the world. Instead of focusing on that, I could’ve noted the positive things: the sun shining, the beautiful leaves, the bright green grass, or the well-kept landscape. No one is perfect, but if we all do what we can to eliminate trash, help others by cleaning up after ourselves, and appreciate the Earth, we can solve many problems together.

I plan to do my best to eliminate litter, recycle properly, and educate others to do the same. Additionally, I will focus on the positives around me and the beautiful things I observe in nature daily. There is only so much I can control, but if I manage what I can, I can make a slight difference to help save the Earth. Although the wrapper and cotton are so small and could have been ignored, it shows how everyone’s actions impact the world. If everyone drops one small piece of trash in one day, that is 8.1 billion pieces of waste in one day. We should all be mindful of our decisions and do our best to behave in beneficial ways.

Ally Weissman is a second-year early elementary education student with a minor in early development. She is from Livingston, New Jersey, and hopes to educate her future students about climate change and how they can help.