Today’s Editorial Sept 20: Can’t we stop the litter?

Cayman National Trust volunteers are to be commended for cleaning up the grounds at Fort George this past weekend.

What they found was disturbing – a crack pipe, a knife and other undesirable items (we can only imagine).

It’s a shame that people are using this historic landmark as a site to partake of illegal drugs and participate in nefarious activities, be they tourists or locals.

It’s also a shame that the National Trust has to organize volunteers to clean up this and other historic sites in the Cayman Islands.

What has happened to national pride?

If you happen to see litter on the ground, get a little exercise. Bend over, pick it up and throw it in a trash bin.

Better yet, if you’re the one smoking the crack or participating in other unsavoury activities, take your toys with you when you finish. Don’t leave them for someone else to pick up (unless it’s the police and they can get your fingerprints off said pipe and other paraphernalia).

The litter problem in the Cayman Islands, specifically on Grand Cayman and especially in George Town has gotten out of hand.

And don’t blame Hurricane Ivan.

That event in our lives has been over for two years. Quit using it as a crutch for bad behaviour. Move on.

Just because a storm with no regard for human life or material possessions blew through here and left us a mess in September 2004 doesn’t mean that we need to take a cue and leave our own mess.

Rubble and trash were understandable after that storm. Litter at our historic sites, on our roads and in our yards today is not.

And litter isn’t just relegated to those unsavoury products like crack pipes.

Litter is made up of the cigarette butts, soda cans, coffee cups, beer bottles, plastic bags, gum wrappers and various other items you see along roadways and on beaches, blown up against a fence or swirling around an empty lot.

When people throw things from their car, drop things on the ground or even if someone aims for a garbage can, misses and leaves it that is littering.

Litter is ugly and it can harm the environment and lead to rodent problems and diseases.

What can we do to stop people from littering Cayman?

Call them on it when you see them do it. If you see someone littering, gently put them to shame.

Again, if you come across litter, pick it up and properly dispose of it properly.

We need to get rid of litter everywhere in the Cayman Islands, not for the tourists, but for those of us who call this place home.

Because we know that littering won’t end tomorrow, volunteers are needed for groups like the National Trust to keep our historic sites clean.

But you can do so much yourself without joining an organization. Pick out a section of road or beach and spend some time each week picking up trash from that area.

You’ll feel better about your national pride and the country will look and feel better too.

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