Bob Harris - OUTDOORS and FREE - May 09, 2012
HOPE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
When my family first moved to Goffstown, back in the 1960’s, we seldom saw litter on the road-sides or streets. As children, we had been taught to respect our neighborhoods and the environment. My wife had a great-aunt who lived on Henry Bridge Road but walked nearly everywhere she went. In fact, she could walk home from doing errands in Manchester quicker than we could probably have driven a car through traffic. One thing she did was pick up litter whenever and wherever she saw it. Today, we all need an Anna on their street because litter is everywhere.
There are beer and soda cans, Styrofoam and plastic drink cups, candy and cigarette packages. There are even disposable diapers! Folks, disposable anything does not mean throw it where you are. It means you don’t have to return it or wash it to use again. We have become a disposable civilization. Doesn’t work - throw it out! Don’t want it anymore - throw it out! Got a newer version or sick of looking at the old one - throw it out! Well, we have a solution for that problem.
Ever hear of Goodwill? Ever hear of donating it to a good cause? Ever notice the containers around for clothing and books? Goffstown has recycling bins as well as those for garbage. And as a last resort, ever hear of the Transfer Station? In my day we called it the DUMP! And it’s not that far from your house.
I cannot count how many times I’ve seen trash thrown from a moving vehicle. My wife insists that much of it comes from the back of open pick-up trucks and not from the cab. Even if she’s right, someone was careless. Just doing a good deed as a cub, boy or girl scout can be dangerous now. When we take youngsters away from their video games and televisions to clean up some area we find shocking reminders of a sick generation: condoms and needles. Adults need to check out an area before letting children help..
When folks first considered using the railroad tracks for the Rails Trails project, volunteers found lots of litter on the trail, especially in those areas accessible by truck. Televisions, refrigerators, computers and tires were found. When fishing along the river, I often find all kinds of junk that no angler left behind. It’s very discouraging. Is there any hope for a change in the near future?
Well, one can only hope for a turn-around. The young people of today are taught to respect the environment and to protect the land and the waters. Their parents can be seen volunteering for clean-up projects along stretches where unsightly ‘stuff’ is found. Groups of people have joined organizations or work for thoughtful companies that ‘adopt a road’ and do periodic clean-up tasks. We should all be thankful for these people. Notice what group has been busy filling colored garbage bags, leaving them on the roadside for the town or state garbage trucks to collect. Go to that place of business and mention that you saw their adoption sign or their many volunteers and that YOU appreciate their efforts to keep our town looking good. A little praise does wonders for the soul.
We can all do our part. Taking a nice walk, carry a glove and recycle a shopping bag to pick up any litter you see. Don’t just shake your head and leave it for the next guy to deal with. We all need to do our best to prevent litter, help to clean it up and say “Thanks” to those who do. From me and mine, “THANKS for all you do”.
Bob Harris can be reached via e-mail at: