Don’t be a litter bug. You’ve heard that phrase, haven’t you? Here in Austin, we take that sentiment to heart. In addition to eating pizza with a fork and buying pre-ripped blue jeans, littering is one of the lamest things a person can do. Throwing trash on the ground pollutes the environment and water and makes the areas where we live and play ugly. WHY do that?

The City of Austin has introduced a nifty campaign they’re calling Trash Travels: Pitch In! to educate the public about the importance of putting unwanted items in the right place.

download_asset-1The campaign also illuminates the ways that discarded trash ends up in our creeks and lakes. Some trash is dropped directly in those areas, but the majority of trash washes in through storm drains from the surrounding land, even from areas miles away. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that trash travels…it doesn’t sit on the spot where it was carelessly dropped until a magical trash fairy picks it up. Trash gets around.

This means if you leave a plastic bottle, Styrofoam container, your dog’s dookie,
or cigarette butts on the ground, or even if you leave your garbage on TOP of a full trash can, ie. at crowded bus stops or events… it’s not at all unusual for these items to wash into a storm drain, and end up in the very place you enjoy hiking, paddle-boarding, swimming, or just relaxing. Even if you don’t go to creeks and lakes, you have family, friends, or neighbors who do…. Water views and recreation are a big part of Austin’s appeal to residents and visitors.

download_assetWe’re all proud of keeping Austin a rad place to live, so let’s do our part and join the effort to combat littering in our town. There are a myriad of different ways you can help, including putting your trash INSIDE a trash can, volunteering for a cleanup, or marking storm drains.

For more information about litter’s impacts or how anyone can lend a hand, click here.