The Baton Rouge Area Foundation recently published the 2012 CityStats report, their indicators for tracking quality of life in our community. I was somewhat dismayed that only 25 percent of respondents said litter is a serious problem.
While I wish that percentage was much, much higher, those of us at Keep Louisiana Beautiful are encouraged that the question was included in the survey, and that dialogue about this serious issue is taking place. Hopefully it speaks to a changing cultural outlook with more of us speaking out and taking action to stop it.
Litter, like smoking, is an engrained behavior that can only be changed through a cultural realignment. As we’ve made strides against smoking’s health damage by focusing on future generations, so we must be striving to teach our children and young adults that littering hurts our environment, and ultimately, our way of life.
The report also shows that residential curbside recycling is on the rise, after a slowdown caused by reduced consumption during the recession. This again speaks to the possibility that we are beginning to turn the corner on controlling waste in our everyday lives.
Thank you, BRAF, for including the topic in the CityStats report. I look forward in next year’s report to seeing a greatly increased percentage viewing litter as a major problem. That will tell me we’re making progress toward its eradication.
executive director, Keep Louisiana Beautiful Inc.