Yesterday my husband and I saw Larry Crowne starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Don’t worry, I won’t ruin the movie (the trailer gives it away anyway). No instead, I want to tell you that Larry Crowne picked up litter. This simple act summarized who he is as a man – hard-working and humble but also someone who takes pride in giving his best whatever the circumstances.
Think about it.
When was the last time you saw someone pick up litter? How did that change how you viewed that person? I remember seeing someone I worked for, all decked out for a meeting, bend over and pick up ketchup packets laying next to a trash can as he passed. At that moment, my workplace improved.
According to Keep America Beautiful, over 51 billion pieces of litter land on U.S. roadways each year. That’s 6,729 items per mile. The good news is that they report visible roadside litter has decreased by about 61% since 1969. The bad news is that litter is still a persistent problem.
I know. I live on the corner of a considerably busy city that is used as school bus stop, and apparently, individuals under 30 are more likely to litter than those who are older. Though I think I find an equal amount of beer bottles and candy wrappers in my yard each week.
Every individual, including you and me, has the ability to set an example by not littering. 83% of us do just that. We don’t litter.
But we do see litter, and how we react to it – walk by, pick it up, tell someone else to pick it up - says something about us as individuals.
Larry Crowne picks up litter and so should we.