When the bell rings signaling the end of lunch, all the students scurry to their fifth period classes. Students scoop up their Chromebooks, backpacks, and textbooks, however, what they don’t pick up is their hot cheeto wrappers, sandwich containers, juice boxes, and so forth. Those are left behind on benches, tables and the ground, despite the trash can being less than ten feet away.
While it would be more understandable, though not justifiable, for students to leave their trash because the trash cans were inconveniently located, this isn’t the case on our campus. There are trash cans everywhere.
Rather, the main reason kids on campus litter so often is due to their lack of responsibility, which has slowly become a social norm for our students.
According to the Psychology Today, people litter because they do not feel responsible for public areas and they think that someone else will come to pick it up after them. It’s evident that countless of students at school have this mentality, which has unfortunately caused littering to become so common on campus.
“Littering is a persistent issue on campus. It’s gross and it bothers me. It just shows how selfish the students are,” English teacher John Tucker said.
During nutrition and lunch, students think it’s reasonable for them to leave their food wrappers, bottles, or even chewed pieces of gum all over the ground and cafeteria tables. They assume the staff or janitors will come around to clean it up. While this is true, students could simply walk a few feet to toss it into one of the many trash cans that are provided by the school for this purpose.
Believing that someone will clean up after them is arrogant of the students because they think they’re entitled to throw trash on the ground. The custodial staff is here to keep our school maintained and clean, but that should not include picking up trash that students could clean themselves. The staff should help us with what we cannot clean ourselves on campus.
The more people litter, the more it becomes normal to them. As trash piles up, people become more likely to litter due to the consistently filthy environment, which causes them to think that dropping another piece on the ground won’t contribute to the issue, according to a study done by the City of Chicago.
Instead of becoming part of the problem, students need to start realizing that they should be part of the solution. If you’re walking through the halls with a piece of trash in your hand, just hold it a few more seconds until a bin becomes available. If you see a piece of trash on the ground, maybe pick it up and throw it away. It should not be left solely for custodians to pick up.
School may be just a place where kids come to learn, but when they’re here five days out of the week it becomes a representation of them as well. Students should take pride in their campus and work to keep it clean.