I hate to be negative, but something happened to me a while back that really frosted me.
I was gassing up at the Casey's in Lilbourn when I detected the distinct odor of cigarette smoke, and found myself dusted with cigarette ash, carried in the breeze. Parked in the herringbone parking in front of the convenience store, an older man had opened the door to his pickup and dumped his ashtray out onto the parking lot.
Really? I mean, really?! You fill your lungs with ash and tar, and smoke up the interior of your pickup cab, and fill your ashtray with butts, and you're too freaking lazy to dump your butts somewhere appropriate!
I believe in "live and let live". I respect your right to smoke if you want to, as long as I don't have to breathe it. I might add; I don't want to have to walk over or through your trash because you are too lazy to deal with it appropriately. I've pulled up to way too many stop signs and stop lights to see that somebody has chosen the pause in their driving to dump their ashtray out onto the road.
Maybe I shouldn't be too upset with the old guy at Casey's, at least he dumped his butts somewhere that someone could sweep them up and do what he was too lazy to do with them in the first place. The Casey's employee who had to clean up after him might be less generous toward his action.
Some people don't wait to fill their ashtrays; they toss their butts out wherever they are when they take that last drag. Driving at night you'll see burning embers swirl around the highway as drivers too lazy to even put their cigs out throw them out the window. Every year I see burned areas along the road where I strongly suspect cigarette butts have started fires. While attending one of my sons' wedding, the procession had to wait because the highway was closed as firefighters risked their lives fighting a brushfire that had already consumed nearly 100 acres. I wonder what my firefighting friends think about fighting those fires. I wonder how many homeowners have had to wait extra minutes for fire teams to get to their flaming houses because, instead of being at the firehouse resting or maintaining their equipment, they were fighting grass, brush, or forest fires started by lazy smokers.
Now, I'll back off smokers and jump on other lazy people. I live on a country road. I can't tell you how often I've found trash thrown out right in front of my house because somebody tossed a bag of fast food trash out the window rather than keep it in the car until they got to a trash can! Not to mention all the beer cans and soda bottles that line our country roads.
When my wife and I were starting out our lives together, we lived near Columbia, Missouri. The city of Columbia had passed an ordinance levying a nickel deposit on every drink bottle sold there. It really didn't seem to have much effect on people buying drinks, but it did have an impact on litter around the city, and on people who picked up the bottles and cans to return them for the deposit. I hope we don't have to go to that, but several states have started statewide mandatory deposit programs.
In the 1970s there was a TV commercial starring Iron Eyes Cody. It featured Cody in full Native American regalia, paddling his canoe on a waterway. He beaches the craft and climbs a hill to survey his surroundings. Litter and pollution are everywhere. The camera focuses on Iron Eyes and shows a single tear sliding down his craggy face.
The litter problem has gotten better since then, but it still exists. Plastic, glass, and aluminum that we throw out today may eventually be grown over by grass and weeds, but they are still there. Animals are sickened, killed, and deformed by it.
Littering is illegal. If you get caught, you can be cited and fined. But that won't stop some people.
If you can't throw your trash in a trashcan, fine, but at least hang onto it long enough to strew it around inside your house so the rest of us don't have to live with it. Pigs may not mind living in their own filth, but the rest of us do.