Sunday, July 15, 2012

Conservation Laziness

This post comes more from a place of anger than it does any current pressing issue that I have seen in the news (where mainly all of my recent posts have come from). This post relates to the laziness that I see as I explore the natural world around me and today really hit hard tonight. Let me preface by saying again that this summer I am working in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as the Climate Change Intern as part of the George Melendez Wright Climate Foundation. I have a B.S. in Parks and Resource Management and an M.S. in Sustainable Systems. I will be starting my Ph.D. in Geography at Kent State University this fall. I also spent two summers working in the Yellowstone National Park area (Wyoming/Montana). If you haven't seen a pattern....I believe in conservation of resources, I believe that we are Biblically called to be stewards of the environment, and I don't believe it being lazy. Want to let me know your own thoughts? Please feel free to Email Me! I would love to hear your thoughts.

Beaver Marsh (Photo Courtesy Lincoln Prairie School)
Tonight while enjoying an evening bike ride down to the Beaver Marsh area of the park, I stopped on the boardwalk to see if I could find any beavers, muskrats (saw 1!), or other animals. On top of some of the lilly pads and spatterdock spread throughout the marsh, I saw cigarette butts laying on top of the leaves. Ok, I understand *sometimes* when someone is driving down the road eating something with their windows open and a piece of paper may fly out. Yes, it's happened to me on the highway before and it really bothers me. I don't believe in littering, I don't believe in ruining the environment. How lazy can people be that they would simply throw their cigarette butts into the water onto the lilly pads. Lets see the animals I count in the marsh: beavers, muskrats, raccoons, blue herons, redwing blackbirds, cedar waxwings, geese, blue gill, bass, sunfish, carp, snapping turtles, red-ear sliders, yellow finches, spotted newts, green frogs, bull frogs (and that doesn't even begin to touch the ones I have seen). Do you know what the effects of these animals eating something like a chemical-laden cigarette butt could be? Put it in your pocket, in your sock, have your friend hold it, or....I know this is crazy so bear with me...hold it yourself until you get to one of the trashcans not that far down the Towpath Trail.

I feel no remorse for laziness and no remorse for those who litter. Yes, God gave us command over the natural world around us but also that we may be stewards of His creation. By throwing our trash around us, we are continually raping God's creation and ruining the gifts we have been given Yes, I'll say it. I think litterers should be in jail. There we go. Call it crazy. Yes, I know the jails are already full of many societal leeches, but why not keep stocking them full up of other people who are continually draining our resources.

Visiting a National Park? The National Park Service has recommendations on how to have a Green Park Visit. Be smart..use a trash can, recycle, pack-in pack-out, Leave No Trace. Whatever you call it, you don't need to throw your garbage on the ground. I always tell people that I would rather you throw it on the floor of my car than out the window. I once stopped on the highway so someone could get something they threw out of the window. It's stupid. Those who do it are lazy and ignorant.

1 comment:

  1. There's always community service for those who litter help and avoids having another mouth to feed and creating a career criminal by sending them to jail.