Are you taking care of the environment?

Author : teriann

It is a common scene in Jamaica,  a car drives by and someone tosses an empty bottle out of the window. The driver continues on his way and the bottle is left on the roadway.

On another section of the road a passer-by throws his garbage on the ground even though there are bins around.  As you pass several businesses and homes there are piles of garbage that do not seem to be claimed by anyone as it at times is dumped on empty lots of land or nearby gullies.

This is a very unfortunate reality as often some people just don’t see the necessity of taking care of the environment.

They are laws on the books that outline penalties for those who litter but that often has not been a significant deterrent.

So what has been the result?

Disease

Garbage is never wanted but if it is properly stored then there will be less of a health risk.  Garbage attracts rodents which also spread diseases so it needs to be everyone’s concern.

The risk of disease also rises with the spread of flies and mosquitoes which are attracted by waste materials. It is therefore of utmost importance that we store our garbage correctly.

Another problem is caused when persons decide to burn their garbage. This is a real problem as smoke that is released from burning certain kinds  of materials can be toxic.  Those who suffer from respiratory illnesses such as asthma, are often affected the most as it can trigger asthma attacks. These fires are also difficult to control and can spread to neighbouring areas causing even more damage.

Why not clean up every day?

Traditionally, Jamaicans use various holidays to clean up their surroundings. However maybe it’s time to change the conversation from doing massive cleanups to just not throwing the garbage there in the first place.

Often the problem is worsened because of lack of attention, so if we constantly cared for our environment then it would be a breeze to keep it maintained.

Jamaica has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, however one thing that mars our ability to enjoy this resource is the improper disposal of garbage at the beach. The clean up efforts of the beaches by several organizations and individuals always yield tons of plastic bottles and even old appliances that have been discarded.

Sometimes I wonder how those persons manage to sleep at night knowing that they are destroying the very home they live in with no regard of the consequences of their actions!

So what’s your take on the issue?  Let me hear it from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner Online Writer

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