Be a hero–don’t trash Cuba!
Viva Cuba’s monthly meeting was yesterday, and members discussed the spring Trash Bash. At some point, the group realized that litter is an ongoing problem and maybe education–especially of the young– is a key element. Maybe it is a good idea to teach the kids not to litter, and they can educate the adults.
An article in the Cuba Free Press reported a contest for kids as part of a state No MOre Trash! campaign. It had to do with decorating a trashcan with anti-litter slogans. The contest is to raise awareness about Missouri’s litter problem and to discourage littering. The article contained facts about littering.
*Trash hurts wildlife when they get tangled in it. Some litter like cigarette butts poison wildlife.
*MoDOT spends $5 million each year cleaning litter from the roadsides
*The Department of Conservation spends almost $1 million a year to clean litter from conservation areas and other department locations.
*Littering is illegal with a fine of up to $1000 and a year in jail
In Cuba, with all the good things that we have going for us, litter is still a problem. As a runner/walker around town, I see a lot of litter up close. When Viva Cuba has a bus tour coming in or a special event, we have to pick up litter around the murals and remove soda cans from planters. At times we have to do it more than once because the littermeisters seem to come right behind us throwing trash on the streets.
I saw an ironic situation the other day. A vehicle with an American flag went by and then some trash came flying out the window. It seemed ironic to me that one who professes to love the country doesn’t see anything wrong with trashing it. I like to think this is the exception rather than the rule.
People like to blame a lot of things on young people, but there are a lot of adults in Cuba who litter: coffee and soda cups, wrappers, fast food containers, liquor bottles. Some people clean out their cars by throwing everything on the streets and in parking lots. And we’ve all seen cigarette butts where the ash trays were dumped out on the street or parking lot. Have you ever noticed the litter after a football game or a track event? Let someone else pick up the trash. The littermeisters’ kids see them litter and figure it must be ok.
Viva Cuba can have trash pick up days, and organizations and 4-H groups can help. The city can have extra trash pickups. Businesses can keep their outside premises clean. All those things are important, but those things alone won’t stem the tide of litter in Cuba.
A number one way a Cuba citizen can help beautify Cuba is by not throwing trash in public areas. The littermeisters have the potential to be the real heroes in this story.
They can help beautify Cuba by not throwing trash in public areas. That is a form of public art that won’t cost anything.
Put it in a trashcan or take it home. Don’t trash Cuba.