Littering is an extremely dangerous habit and one that affects the health of all citizens weather we drop the litter or someone else does it and it is for this reason that we should seek to educate our young people about the importance of not littering.
Every year governments spend thousands of dollars on cleaning the streets and getting rid of garbage to secure a healthy and attractive environment and it is important that as citizens, we all play our part in keeping the environment clean.
From as young as possible, children should be educated about the importance of putting their garbage in waste bins and tidying up when they are finished with an area. Keeping their surroundings clean should be instilled in their little brains as this will transfer to keeping their homes and Barbados clean, as they mature.
Get your pre-schoolers to understand the task of the garbage trucks when they come around and teach them how to dispose of garbage in a responsible manner. Show them garbage heaped up in areas and ask them if it looks good or if it smells good. If there are flies around garbage as you drive by, point out to young children how unhealthy it is and why it is important that everyone should dispose of their garbage in a responsible way.
Children are not too young to understand that littering can have a negative impact on their health.Apart from looking and smelling awful and spoiling the beauty of our island, children need to understand how litter can clog the gutters and create flooding and how it can eventually affect our drinking water.
They can also be taught how the garbage can get into the sea and endanger under water life.
Explain to them that besides flies, garbage also encourages rodents and this means several life threatening diseases. We have heard of children leaving ends of food in their desk at school, that resulted in rodents in the classrooms. That dangerous practice means that children can come into contact with droppings from the rodents without being aware of such and this can make them very sick.
Some of the reasons people litter is, laziness, not knowing about the negative impact of littering, trash cans being full, not having enough trash bins in an area and some people think that their actions as individuals do not matter.
Help the children understand that every food wrapper that is left on the ground is a danger to our health and environment. The drink bottles we use, the tissue paper and the plastic and paper bags should be put in a garbage can.Make sure that your child understands that if garbage cans are filled, garbage should be kept until they can find a bin.
When you go to the beach, make sure that you help pick up all your garbage and show the children that they should never leave any garbage on the beaches as this can cause the pollution of our beaches and that is how garbage gets into the ocean.
Get your children to talk to their friends about litter and where possible encourage them to get involved in litter picking projects.As parents you should get acquainted with the litter laws and tell your children about the penalties that can be incurred if they are caught littering.
Teach Children Not To Litter
Some of the young people who were part of The Guardian Team at the Garrison Savannah on a clean up project.