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litter, cigarettes, cheap beer, and bad manners.

September 11, 2013

I am a volunteer with the local parks and recreation department. Several times a week I head down to a nature reserve, spend on average an hour and a half per shift hiking the trails, and way off the trails, into the bushes and the undergrowth, and climbing steep slopes, looking for and picking up trash.

I use an excellent tool called the Dramm Pickup Stix. No, I am not being paid by Dramm. As I mentioned in my “about” section, I never make any money by endorsing any product or music group or instrument or whatever. I occasionally find something so great (or really bad) that I mention it in a post. The Pickup Stix is a giant pair of tongs, and works wonderfully. It would be horrible to try and pick up all this litter with a different sort of tool, like one of those stabby sticks used to ineffectively pick up trash, or with no tool at all.

I find many kinds of litter, including candy wrappers, misc. pieces of paper, etc. One of the most common forms of litter is empty cans of cheap beer. The other most common form of litter is cigarette butts.

I really wonder about the kind of people who smoke and who drink cheap beer. It’s possible these days to buy craft beer in cans, but I never find any empty craft beer cans in the park. I think the average person who drinks craft beer is likely to have somewhat better manners than cheap beer drinkers, and some craft beer drinkers probably have more money than those who drink cheap beer. This is certainly not always true. I have two uncles who are doing rather well financially (and who have good manners), but they still drink putrid stuff like Bud Lite and Keystone. The most common brand of beer can I find in the reserve is Bud Lite.

Are people who drink cheap beer more likely to smoke? Maybe. I’m thinking most people who are beer snobs like me, who are into craft beers, tend not to smoke, or at least do not smoke regularly.

And what’s with smokers??

They leave their cigarette butts everywhere.

It’s astonishing how much litter these people create. I not only find butts all over the place, but sometimes find empty discarded packs too.

I try not to be angry with people who litter. I know that many, probably most smokers would like to quit and can’t. They are addicts, and bring their smokes with them. But do they have to leave their butts all over?! I don’t think this is right.

Besides making a mess that I clean up, smokers who leave their butts in the reserve risk starting fires. Much of the grasses in the reserve are dry, and will burn quite easily. I’m surprised there have been no fires as of yet in the reserve.

It is hard for me to have respect for people who drink cheap beer, and who smoke cigarettes. I keep cleaning up their messes.

I am glad to be a person with better manners. I drink good beer, and recycle the cans and bottles. When I smoke, which isn’t often, I always dispose of my cigarette butts properly. I wish others would do the same.

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