Imagine you’re stopped at a red light. You’re bobbing your head along to whatever music is on your radio, and then you notice the guy next to you. He rolls down his window and, sticking his hand out, flicks his cigarette onto the pavement.
Now, generally, people don’t do or say anything–myself included–to Mr. Litterer, but I have a confession to make: THIS DRIVES ME NUTS. And it has, ever since I was a kid. I remember driving in the car with my dad who would ALWAYS flick his cigarettes out the window. I never, ever liked it.
Don’t get me wrong–this isn’t about smoking. Do what you want; I’m not about to judge, and I don’t think it’s necessary for the world to hold smokers up as some kind of social scapegoat. HOWEVER–flicking your cigarette out the window isn’t any different than throwing a wadded up cheeseburger wrapper out. It’s littering and it makes streets gross. And this is public space, for crying out loud!
I guess nonchalant littering in general just really makes me angry because it shows a blatant disrespect for other people. It’s nice that you don’t care whether there are cigarette butts and McDonald’s paper cups and straws on the street, but maybe those of us who walk around this neighborhood care. Maybe the birds don’t want to build nests out of dirty cigarette filters. Maybe you shouldn’t leave shit with your DNA on it lying around in the street, damnit.
So, generally, people of the world: put your trash in trash receptacles. That’s what they’re there for. Because, unlike babies, you’re responsible for your own trash. I am not responsible for your half-chewed straws, your cigarette butts, your paper cups, your tampons (yes, I recently saw a TAMPON lying around in the street), your kleenex, your receipts, and all the other crap you think it’s okay to just dump around in everyone else’s way. Public streets are communal streets. We all use them. And unless you’re some kind of sociopath who doesn’t have the capability of empathy or general humanness, pick up/throw away your shit!!!