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Littered Roads, Littered Future

By Clayton D.
Washington, Age 14

Consider this, you are on a road trip with your family and you take the scenic route expecting a beautiful drive. There is only one thing; the roads are paved with litter, and what is even worse is that you pay for all that litter to be picked up, even if you have never thrown your garbage out the car window before.
The amount of litter on the roads in America has increased dramatically over the past few years and has not helped in any aspect. The thing that people never really think about is that you (the tax payers of America) are the ones paying for the roads to be cleaned up. California alone spent $28 million last year on cleaning up the roads (www.ecy.wa.gov1), or should I say that the residents of California spent that much last year. After a recent survey of my class 56% say that they litter out the car window. You might not think that your litter will hurt anything but no one else does either and litter adds up fast. The real bad thing is that when you litter you are hurting tons of other people by making them pay for your mistakes and that is very frustrating.
The effect that litter has on the general public and the environment may seem small to the uninformed person but in all reality it isnít. The litter on the side of the roads does not stay there, the wind or whatever might carry the litter away takes it away to unwanted places like streams and rivers. Why would want your community roads to look like trash, is that the way you want to represent your town?
You may not realize that there is a solution this growing problem, but there is. If everyone does their part by holding their garbage in until they arrive at a garbage can, soon roads will get cleaner faster then you think. This is one small step towards cleaning up your environment and making it a happier place.
All of the money that is going towards cleaning up the roads of America could be going towards fixing the roads with bumps and potholes to make youíre traveling a more pleasurable experience. Getting caught littering in Washington out the car window will usually take over $100 out of your pocket (www.ecy.wa.gov1). Who knows, maybe throwing your trash in the correct spot could be easier and will definitely create less stress about wandering if you will get a ticket or not.
As a result of our laziness or whatever is causing us to throw our trash out the window, our roads look like a dump and the tax payers money is being spent on cleaning them up, when it could be going towards something much more helpful. If we could all do our part by thinking about the effects of our litter before we throw our garbage out the car window it would be a world of difference and not only would our environment be cleaner but so will our future.