We can make a difference with litter
Dear Neighbors, I live off Sconticut Neck Road, and enjoy taking walks along our rocky shoreline year-round. Last summer during one of these walks I spotted a plastic bag blowing around, so I grabbed it to get it off the beach. As I continued along, I picked up a few more pieces of litter and threw them in the bag since I was stuck carrying it anyway. Before I knew it the bag was full!
After this, I began taking a bag or two with me whenever I walk. Often, the first is overflowing before I’ve gone half a mile and the second is full quickly thereafter. I’m doing this not only in effort to beautify our town, but also as a good deed to the birds and marine life that make Buzzards Bay their home.
Some of the litter I find is clearly coming from boats, but the majority is single-use food and drink containers like plastic cups, lids, and straws from coffee shops, drink bottles and bottle caps, and flimsy plastic packaging from snack food. Recently, balloons and ribbons have been a frequent find.
The thought of what an animal goes through after unknowingly ingesting one of these items is an awful one. We are all excited to resume summer parties, but please reconsider decorating with balloons as some inevitably “get away” and end up in our waterways.
Spots like Fort Phoenix receive more attention, and even have organized beach clean-ups, which is fantastic, but there are a lot of less popular waterfront areas in Fairhaven that go neglected.
Taking on the carelessness of litterbugs may seem futile, but I don’t think so. I may not be able to change the thinking of those leaving trash behind, but when I leave the beach carrying two full bags I know that I, one person, just removed litter left by dozens of different people. That means that we each have the ability as individuals to change the outcome of the actions of the masses.
If a few more of us joined in, this impact would multiply, so I encourage everyone to put a bag or two in their pocket before going out to enjoy our Fair-Haven.
Buzzards Bay belongs to all of us, let’s take care of it!
Christin Ritz, Fairhaven
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