During an unexpected power outage in May I went for a walk before daylight ended. At one of my usual stops I enjoyed specks of sunshine like sparkling diamonds dancing on the lake. Except for the natural sounds of insects, chipmunks, small song birds, ducks taking to flight and the call of loons, I was refreshed by the gift of the pervasive ‘silence’ of nature.
All people are nature-lovers who appreciate Nature, but not all nature-loving people respect Nature. People lacking respect for Nature are those who enjoy its beauty for themselves, but who lessen its beauty by acting irresponsibly before others can enjoy the sights, sounds and activities of Nature. How do I know this? As I started to walk back home I saw the irresponsible actions of those nature-lovers who left behind empty beer cans, wrappings and garbage that spoiled the beautiful surroundings. In Algonquin Park, outfitter personnel advise their customers to remove all garbage from their campsites. Park staff also expect this protocol to be followed. It is an easy and efficient protocol to follow because as supplies are consumed, the campers’ packs become lighter.
It doesn’t matter by what means of transportation a person has arrived to enjoy the beauty of nature – truck, ATV, canoe, hot-air balloon, wheelchair, one’s two feet – the “garbage protocol” should be followed by all everywhere.
True as that is, we still wonder: Why don’t ‘litterbugs’ take away their lighter garbage to be disposed of appropriately? Sadly there is no reasonable answer. (Laziness is just another form of irresponsibility.)
Littering exists globally. It hurts to know that; however, there is no reason to think that we cannot and/or should not try to eradicate the problem. It especially hurts to know that littering happens in our own Madawaska Valley area.
Water quality and shoreline wildlife concerns are definitely part of the overall consideration of pollution and littering. Awareness of such environmental concerns is the genesis of becoming more involved with problem-solving. A membership to a local lake, river, watershed or wildlife association near your property can help to provide a greater environmental awareness. If you don’t have such an association near you, try meeting with others living in the same area who have similar environmental concerns. Your group may then consider forming a new association. As in any other similar awareness process, it’s all about taking one step at a time.
Enjoy this summer of 2018 and all future summers.
Anne Bonnah, Barry’s Bay