Litter Bug by Lynn McKenney

Blanketing the green
Clear sheets of plastic, broken bottles, glass and tin
Blanketing the green
Empty containers, candy wrappers and debris
Blanketing the green
Old socks, chairs, and shoes
Blanketing the green
Torn and tattered garments
Blanketing green
Pop cans, receipts and yesterday’s news
Blanketing the green
Your history of breakfast lunch and dinner
Blanketing the green
Things that once were, could have been, pondered mistakes
Blanketing the green
Used and unused artifacts needing to find its place
Blanketing the green
Laws seem not apply For those who have never read
Only a misdemeanor, a little jail time too
Contamination, infestation, and massive litter
What is the simple transformation to ……..
Blanketing the green?

Recycle!
http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=82358

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9 thoughts on “Litter Bug by Lynn McKenney

  1. Reblogged this on wandaev and commented:
    Lynn – what a powerful piece. Your descriptions put me in the picture and I was physically seeing these discretions in my mind. In order for us to get the revelation about going green, we are going to have to understand how important it is to look at this issue with more spiritual eyes. Respecting Mother Earth must be perceived on a higher level and respect must be converted into love for nature and restoring the natural order of things, if its not too late. I hope not.
    Wanda Vaughn

  2. Keep Our Land is Grand

    What can we do to keep our land grand? In July of 1997, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation developed the Litter Hotline (1-888-5-LITTER). You are able to call the toll-free number and report any highway littering. Callers need to be able to provide: license plate number, description of the vehicle, time and location of littering, and type of litter. Once the ODOT has this information the owner of the vehicle is sent a postcard. The postcard is not a citation but a reminder that “highway littering is illegal and costs our state $3.5 million each year.”(1) There is also another website http://www.litter-bug.org/reporting_littering.asp?STATE_PROVINCE=Oklahoma that you are able to post your witness account description, evidence of littering and dumping. Neighbors, Communities and law enforcement can use litter-bug.org data to help prevent and deter future littering and possibly catch perpetrators of illegal dumping activity. (3)
    Another thing that you can do to fight litter in your community is participate in The Great American Cleanup. This event takes place each spring, it is also in direct affiliation with Keep America Beautiful, and it provides communities with the tools to make a real impact around their town. On their website http://www.keepoklahomabeautiful.com/fight-litter they have great tips on how to organize a community/neighborhood cleanup and also what you need to get started. Through Keep Oklahoma Beautiful your group can register and apply for a community grant of $250 to help with costs of cleanup. (2)
    Lastly, you can participate in Adopt-A-Highway. This program helps with reducing the costs of picking up litter on the highway. Oklahomans adopt a two-mile section of highway and agree to pick up litter at least four time a year for a two-year period. ODOT provides the trash bags, removal of filled bags, orange vests, temporary warning signs and initial safety training. The adopted sections are identified by a sign at each end listing the group’s name. There are increasing number of “In Memory Of” adoptions. This is an ideal way to remember someone without placing an illegal crosses/flowers on the right-of-way. If you have questions contact the ODOT Beautification Office at 405-521-4037. (4)

    (1) http://www.okladot.state.ok.us/beauty/litter/
    (2) http://www.keepoklahomabeautiful.com/fight-litter
    (3) http://www.litter-bug.org/reporting_littering.asp?STATE_PROVINCE=Oklahoma
    (4) http://www.okladot.state.ok.us/beauty/adopt/

  3. Lynn I strongly agree with your writing. I hate seeing people just throw trash anywhere and everywhere, not taking pride or care of our home. So here is my response.

    Home

    The land was once pure
    and unsoiled
    nothing unclean in sight

    We once had great pride
    and love
    for our home land

    We once saw the beauty
    and wonder
    in God’s creation

    Now all we see is industry
    and production
    Progress for the sake of it

    With such gains comes pollution
    and destruction
    No more caring for the Earth

    It’s all about now, mine and immediate satisfaction
    Money, Power, and Personal Triumph

    It’s not about us as a race, our world as a home serving thousands of creatures
    Air, Nature, Animals, and Population

    We need to care about home again

  4. Lynn I strongly agree with your writing. I hate seeing people just throw trash anywhere and everywhere, not taking pride or care of our home. So here is my response.

    Home

    The land was once pure
    and unsoiled
    nothing unclean in sight

    We once had great pride
    and love
    for our home land

    We once saw the beauty
    and wonder
    in God’s creation

    Now all we see is industry
    and production
    Progress for the sake of it

    With such gains comes pollution
    and destruction
    No more caring for the Earth

    It’s all about now, mine and immediate satisfaction
    Money, Power, and Personal Triumph

    It’s not about us as a race, our world as a home serving thousands of creatures
    Air, Nature, Animals, and Population

    We need to care about home again

  5. Who’s house is our Earth?
    It never ceases to amaze me when I watch cigarette butts fly out of car windows. Who do they think will pick that up?
    Cups in the parking lot.
    Who will pick that up?
    Overflowing trash.
    Who will pick that up?

    The answer is always someone else will do it.

    Who is someone? Have you met him? Be that someone.

  6. You have heard the saying ones man junk is another mans treasures.
    Some people must think this saying is for trash too.
    How wrong they are, please pick up after yourself and take care of your trash.
    You may think by throwing in out the window of your car is throwing it away , but it not it just makes it someone else trash.

  7. Our Trash, Our Lawns, Our Green…What Do We Treasure?

    There’s not much that will dwarf you like Saturday morning playtime in the suburbs. You walk out to get the paper, stopping to smile at the neighbor kids, who are barefooted, wiggling their perfectly manicured toes in a carpet of emerald green grass hemmed in by gargantuan cascading plumes of tropical blooms whose names, you now realize, you can’t even pronounce.

    Remembering your own little tyke, you pan across the landscape just in time to catch a glimpse of his diapered rump plopping into a barren patch of yard, kicking up a cloud of dust so thick that you have to wait until it settles before you can even see the whites of his eyes again.

    “I really should fertilize,” you mumble.

    “Oh Mummy,” the neighbor-child calls, “I found some loooovely roses blooming, and look! No weeds!!!” she cries, mocking your joke of a flower bed.

    Interrupted again, your head jerks back to your own child. You know what’s coming, but it’s too late to stop it. Practically in slow motion, you watch him approach, holding his fist forward in triumphant joy. “Flowers, Mommy, I picked them for YOU!” Your dirt baby has just announced—to the whole neighborhood—your failure as a human being, pushing into your hands 20-30 over-developed dandelions, roots still attached.

    “Time to head to the home and garden store,” you decide, “to recover what’s left of my pride, before they kick me out of the neighborhood association.”

    But wait, before you run to buy that easy-apply fertilizer and targeted herbicide…did you know?…

    The fertilizer you buy in a little sack is essentially the same as what farmers are putting down en masse, the stuff everyone says is polluting our rivers? So what, right? It’s just a little bag…

    But phosphorus, if not completely mixed into the soil, pollutes lakes and streams. In fact, the next time you cut your lawn, the clippings will all be contaminated with phosphorus. What are the chances of some of those clippings lying about in the street or on top of your lawn, waiting for the next rain to wash it all down into the sewer, straight into local tributaries, emptying in the Arkansas River, having contaminated everything in their path. How many perfect lawns are there in Tulsa? How many little bags of phosphorus would that be?

    What’s more, the I-Ching of fertilizers, nitrogen, the part of the fertilizers that produces that miracle growth in plants, “is completely soluble and highly mobile in soil. It can readily leach downward and contaminate groundwater supplies,” according to the research done by Rosen and White in 1999. What does that mean? That means that even if you mix it in, it’s gonna wash out when you water or seep down through the soil, into the groundwater that, again, ends up in the Arkansas River. Nitrogen, the miracle plant cure, is also naturally present, by the way, and perfectly balanced, readily available for plants to absorb in naturally composted matter, like a decomposed pile of leaves or grass clippings. Hmmm.

    Honestly, we hear this sort of thing all the time, but it’s not going to protect us from the evil glares of our neighbors when we haven’t applied fertilizer and herbicide, leaving our lawns looking a little wilder than they used to. But what about variety? Who says clover is bad? Did you know clover naturally restores nitrogen to the soil and is used by Irish farmers as a cover crop to restore nutrients after a harvest? And hey, if we didn’t have dandelions, what hand-picked gifts would our children bring us in the midday sun? Variety is needed in every ecosystem for all the healthy bugs to survive, so they can pollinate our flowers, eat the bad bugs, and decompose our old leaves for us.

    Further, you know all of those disgusting ponds with bright green algae floating in them? That’s from nitrogen runoff- either from animal feces not being cleaned and composted properly, or from fertilizer applications. It makes the water smell gawd-awful, and it uses up all the oxygen in the water, effectively suffocating the fish. The only fish that can survive that nasty, green muck are the pollution-resistant kind, those mutant breeds we keep encouraging with all of our Miracle Grow and herbicides. I’ve seen some of those fish splayed out by fishermen along the Arkansas River, and I gotta tell you, they’re so huge and gross looking that I wonder when they are gonna grow legs and finally crawl out of that sess pool to come get us for what we’ve done to them.

    I’ve also seen those fish somewhere else, splayed out as a love offering for a meal to a fisherman’s family. See, many of those men are fathers of the children I used to teach at a local school. They can’t afford to feed their families without those fish. Their mere size and meat content mean that little toddlers, growing teens, and pregnant wives will have a solid source of protein all winter. You can’t tell a hungry family not to eat polluted fish. What are they going to do, go down to Bodean’s or White River Fish Market and pay $25 for a fillet? The power bill has to be paid so the family won’t freeze.

    In a society where we see incidents of cancer rising at alarming rates, and we’ve all lost someone, we have to think about what we are doing to ourselves and to each other.

    That’s why I decided to do away with the chemicals. Let the neighbors look. I’ll be out there alongside their lawn crews, picking weeds here and there. But those guys won’t laugh at me, because some of their daughters are my former students, and they may be the same fishermen I see down by the river, to whom I give a little nod when I jog by on the trail. We are a community, and we’re supposed to love each other.

    For more information, see:

    Rosen, C.J. and White, D.B. (1999). “Preventing Pollution Problems from Lawn and Garden Fertilizers,” University of Minnesota Extension Service.
    Retrieved from http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG2923.html

  8. This is another passion of mine. I am always inspired by the beauty of our earth and I just don’t understand why there are so many that don’t believe that we are creating a negative impact that must be stopped now. I wrote this poem. Thanks for reminding me of this passion.

    Mother Nature
    Hello! Do you not notice that I am a beautiful wonder to behold?
    Have you not seen my expressions all over the world?
    I have tried to impress you with color and grandeur that is unprecedented.
    But it seems that you don’t grasp the message.
    I thought my beauty would take your breath away.
    I hoped my expressions would carry you to lands far far away.
    I wanted you to be inspired so that you would respect my beauty and purpose.
    But it seems that none of my efforts have even touched the surface.
    So now, I will retaliate; I will begin the process of change.
    With this process comes lost of luster and seasons that are weird and out of sync with the normal tide.
    Don’t you recognize that my cries for help are expressing the fact that I am tired?
    Tired of the disrespect that shows through your trashing my highways, my byways, my streams and magnificent bodies of oceans and seas.
    Please open your eyes and see exactly how your lack of care is affecting me.
    I have warned you with my tsunamis, earthquakes, melting massive ice caps, and deadly sink holes.
    Pay attention and be aware that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with and respected to the utmost.
    Peace!

    by Wanda Vaughn

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