One Year of Littering

Who is Littering? For one year, I kept track.

Damn, I hate littering. Litter is such an eyesore, it seems so easy to resist creating it, it's downright mysterious to me. To learn more about the habits of litterers, I decided to keep a year-long record of every time I saw someone littering. Here are the results.

April  5 
Asian American kid tosses his cigarette pack out of the window of his 20 year old Honda civic.

April 26
Mexican American girl ripping paper and tossing it into the parking lot.

Year of Littering Photo

Turned out to be rose petals.

Year of Littering Photo

May 2
African American 28 year old man sits in his car in Walmart parking lot and drops cigarette butt out of his car window.

May 2
Latino 28 year old drops and crushes cigarette butt in home depot parking lot.

May 17 
White woman finishes cigarette as she parks car and drops butt in Save Mark supermarket parking lot.

Year of Littering Photo

May 25 
White male 50 with orange baseball cap in Mercedes picked up trash on his way from the pumps to the Am Pm

May 26
Another 50 year old white male picking up litter on the street.

June 9
32 year old African American woman tosses an empty bottle of chocolate milk into an urban creek.

Year of Littering Photo

June 10 
Chicana woman, 27, lets the lid fall off of her icee cup onto the ground at the gas station. It was as if this event wasn't due to her actions.

June 12 
50 year old white woman in Lexus dropped cigarette butt out of her car window. 

June 17
24 year old latino smoker unwrapped a new pack, dropped the top and cellophane onto the ground out of his truck window at the gas station.

Year of Littering Photo

July 7
38 year old African American woman tossed paper wrappings from Reeses cups out of the window.

July 12
50 year old Mexican American man, dressed for church. Littered a foot from a trash can. Also spilled gas. 

Year of Littering Photo

Year of Littering Photo

July 24
33 year old pale white woman pulled the trash from her selected shopping cart and dropped it onto the ground before entering the store.

August 2
30 year old Mexican American dudes open door to their truck and watch a coke can, roller cover wrapper and gum wrapper tumble out of their door.

 Year of Littering Photo

Year of Littering Photo

Sept 24
30 year old African American woman in a couple tossed crumpled receipt over her shoulder in Winco parking lot. Gum inside.

Year of Littering Photo

Year of Littering Photo

Frito lays, cheetos, bananas, with $4.30 Ebt (food stamps).

Volvo woman dropped coke bottle cap out of her car door as she prepared to leave the Kmart parking lot. 32 year old Hispanic woman.

African American kid, age 14, dropped wrapper as he walked and ate.

Year of Littering Photo

Oct 21
African American smoker, 35, drops butt out of her black Dodge Magnum.

Oct 30
African American man 60 picking up newspaper trash in the gutter..

Nov 15 
50 year old black man with a leather hat tosses his napkins onto the ground after finishing a snack while walking. 

Year of Littering Photo

Nov. 18
25 year old white guy drops his cigarette butt out of the window of his 240z.

White man and woman crush out cigarettes before entering an arena.

Dec 28
White man 32 walking along the street dumped a white piece of Styrofoam into the bushes.

Dec 31
White girl 25 throws her cigarette to the ground and snuffs it out before getting in her friends' car.

Jan 1
Mexican man 50 picks up litter in the parking lot at Rite Aid.

Jan 15
African American woman, 48, at bus stop throws cigarette into gutter.

White male 27 throws cigarette butt  out of the window of his car.

African American bus waiting smoker

White car smoker

Year of Littering Photo

Feb 21
White male 46 throwing top of pack of cigarettes out of the window of his truck

Feb 21
White male 50 dropping cig butt out of his car window.

April 1 
Guy drops cigarette pack out of window, drives like shit. White. 30

Year of Littering Photo

And that's it! I witnessed 29 incidents of littering in one year around Sacramento, California. Who are these people?

One thing stands out: Cigarettes, and the packaging of cigarettes are among the most common items of litter. 61% of the littering I saw last year was cigarette-related!

Year of Littering Photo

With any luck, everyone will quit lighting cigarettes in a few years and start using electronic vapor to dose themselves with nicotine. There isn't any litter or lung cancer associated with electronic cigarettes, so I'm all for it. I'm not sure how much littering is attributable to pot smoking, but it can't be worse.

I'd also like to address the subject of littering as an employment tactic. There is a saying that "This litter gives someone a job".

That's a terrible job, and you are assuming there is funding for that job. If you are in the job-creation mood, make good jobs, not terrible ones!

Good jobs: Watercolor painter. Hot dog cart operator. Singer. Doctor. Gardener.

Bad jobs: Picking up garbage. Breaking up fights between drunks. Collecting roadkill. Servicing outhouses.

Don't "make jobs" that suck. Don't throw garbage on the ground. Make jobs that are awesome! Go to concerts! Plant seeds! Buy hot dogs and watercolors!

You know how we could make the whole world as clean as Disneyland? We could quit littering.

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