Why do we have to pick up after you?

Take a walk along a river, stream or lake most anywhere in West Michigan and you’ll find the same thing: trash.
May 1, 2014

Fishing line and work cartons. Empty pop cans and snack wrappers.

It’s the same with roadways, trails and most any other natural area. Somehow, people’s trash always seems to end up there.

Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of do-gooders throughout our community, much of that trash has disappeared.

In conjunction with Earth Day, several cleanup efforts were organized by various groups across West Michigan. Some scoured roadways, stuffing bags full of trash. Others targeted natural areas, bike paths and parks.

Their efforts help keep West Michigan a beautiful place to work and live, and also bring to light a major problem: trash. If not for the careless, irresponsible behavior by the masses, these cleanup efforts wouldn’t be necessary.

We tip our caps to those who devote their precious time to help keep our world clean, and admonish those whose disregard for the environment leave our natural places in such a mess in the first place.

Outdoorsmen and women typically have reputations as being those who care about the environment. But don’t give fishermen and campers the benefit of the doubt. Spots frequented by anglers are typically the worst of all — littered with fishing line, cigarette butts and empty Styrofoam containers. The same is often true of abandoned campsites.

Those whose pastimes lead them into the natural world should be even more conscious about taking care of their surroundings.

Until that happens on a consistent basis, it will take the efforts of a few good folks to make up for the careless behavior of the masses.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

Wolverine49457

I've never understood why there is so much garbage at some of the most naturally beautiful places on earth; can't you go an hour without eating or drinking so you can leave the garbage in your own car?

LittleSwed

There are elements in our society that are owed our money without working for it. They also appear to feel we are responsible for taking care of every element of their life. We can give them fish, but obviously need to teach them how to fish and fend for themselves.

Interestedreader

It starts early in life check out the skate board park in GH every day the lads leave trash(paper,water bottles,cig. butts) all over the place, they don't give a squat.

LittleSwed

Hey interestedreader: When I was a child, I never noticed the trash laying all over the place on the school grounds. One day, my parents realized I needed glasses and wow, was I in for a shock. Every place I looked was covered with trash and I have to admit that since the 1960's the landscape has improved on the playgrounds, streets, and highways.

Wingmaster

It's not just this generation of kids...I have been picking up crap in the woods my whole life that people have left. I can be miles in and still find garbage. Been going on forever. Sigh!

thecatsmom

This is just another type of entitlement people think they deserve. They dont think it is their responsibiltyto pick up their mess. Its no different than the people who think that working people should support them.
We are becoming a nation of lazy, sloppy, entitled people. Worse thing that has happened in this country is the policy of not having people be responsible for their behavior and choices.

galwithscense

Anyone ever follow a garbage truck heading north on U.S. 31? I have seen full garbage bags fall off the trucks and break open on the road more than once. Also have seen the same thing happen on Mercury and Lakeshore Dr.. I'm sure that some of this garbage truck trash ends up in the river!!

nextdoor

Good job for a chain gang.

zwesterhouse

Heard one loud scuzzy guy in a Grand Haven restaurant rant on and on how when voters raise mileages or local taxes he throws his trash all over Grand Haven. He says that how he gets back at voters who vote to take away more of his fixed income.

ghtwpboy

This has been going on for years. Remember the Indian crying by the side of the road full of trash in the early 70's TV commercials? How about all the cigarette butts people fling out the car windows. Thanks to those who clean this up! I've helped with clean up before, its very rewarding.

happycamper

When we were out in Arizona, we did see any trash on the roads !!!

Tri-cities realist

You can thank sheriff Joe Arpaio for that.

bonbon2566

I recently visited downtown Chicago and noticed that there is absolutely no trash anywhere on the streets. On returning home, my son asked me why the streets around us have so much trash on them but Chicago's streets don't. Food for thought...

jokim2

There's $100 fine for littering. Perhaps we should start to enforce it and those that are prosecuted should also have to do some community service to "pick up" after themselves and learn to appreciate the cleanliness of nature.

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