The environment (like youth) is wasted on the young.

One of the district’s high schools lies a little bit more than a mile away. The road to the school passes a lovely pastoral scene – a big dairy farm uniquely right in the heart of a town. The fields are usually dotted with lowing bovines and deer are also comfortable mixing it up with the pretty cows.

Anyway, it’s all bucolic and lovely like a Constable painting.

Except for one thing. As I said, the road leads to the high school. High schools are filled with persons of a certain age – i.e. the youthful generation. Not sure what generation they are any more. X? Y? Z? Not sure that I care, either. Oh, don’t get me wrong about being dismissive. I like young people for the most part. Except, in one area (OK, probably much more than one area) they are execrable.

They have absolutely no respect for the environment in which we (and most importantly, ‘I’) live.

Yet wait! Popular mythology holds that it’s the trashy Boomers (like me) who show no respect for our green and pleasant land. Young people are enviro-freaks and greener than Kermit.

As I said, ‘mythology’ (horse-muffins, twaddle and crapolla) if the local brats are any example. And I suspect they are.

For the boulevards of that same roadway look like a landfill; festooned with fast-food take out residue, plastic bottles, cans, and all the other effluvia emanating from only one suspected source – the kids from the school.

Meanwhile, a stroll across the park near to my home, if made in the early morning, all too often is reminiscent of the aftermath of a bacchanal, with beer-cans and again the ubiquitous junk-food containers. How do they afford all this crap? But, that’s another topic and somehow represents alleged parents that should be horsewhipped; also another topic.

And I’ve seen it in action. I’ve watched drink containers being ejected from the smoked-out windows of a loud-pipes, road-hugging Civic that I know isn’t being operated by anyone over 35. Makes me want to pick up a gun, but in not wanting a homicide charge, I’ll dutifully pick up the offending item and deposit it. Get it, kids? “Deposit it!” What in the hell do you think those containers are for? By the way, that aforementioned park is also dotted with trash bins.

I’m not a pathological environmental fanatic and I confess to sometimes using supermarket plastic bags, among other transgressions. But, I can also say (and I could say it when I was young, too) that I have never, ever littered.

So, why do we persist in believing that the young are in tune with the environment when they consistently prove otherwise?

I know the aforementioned are sweeping generalizations, but it’s my blog and I can do that if I want. Added to which, I can’t blame young people for committing the most disgusting littering transgression of all, which involves leaving a fully-laden disposable diaper in a supermarket parking lot — which I’ve seen on more than one occasion and leaving me to think that if I had the power I’d happily leave that poor incontinent child and orphan as he/she would be much better off without such a disgusting parent.

All I can say, in conclusion is, let’s ‘all’ show a little more respect for where we live.

Later postscript: Just returned from a dog walk and as I cut across the park I noticed a tell-tale pile of crap behind the bleachers. And there it was; a huge pile of junk-food wrappers, with the trash bin being in easily plain sight. I can only conclude that the little buggers are so used to their overindulgent moms picking up after them that their feeble little minds never conclude that they could actually clean up their shit themselves.

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12 responses to “The environment (like youth) is wasted on the young.

  1. Hey Ian, I am so with you on this. I remember discussion industrial pollution with a grade 12 class at Vanier the period just prior to lunch. Almost all the students were aghast at the practicies of big industry et al. During the lunch break, in the days when we had 1hr 15 min before the afternoon class I was leaving the school in my vehicle and through no planning ended up following a car load of students who had just been in my grade 12 class indignantly discussing the transgressions of pollution among businesses. As we travelled along the roadway leading to headquarter’s rd, out the window of the vehicle flew about a half dozen bags and other crap as the care drove merrily along. The following time I met with this class we shared some choice comments.
    Where I live now on Longlake, I often watch (usually young men but not exclusively) drink from their beer cans in both boats and whilst floating on air matteresses to see them then toss their cans/bottles right into the lake. Often, along the beach at one corner of the lake, young people party. It is a lovely spot on large rocks gently sliding to lake side. Many times I have gone there the next day with several large garbage bags to clean up the crap they have left at party’s end. It is so disappointing to me so see this as I too am a staunch supporter of young people….

    • Thanks for writing, Art, not to mention leaving a comment on the blogy. Yes, that is the kind of hypocrisy I am referring to. They are unable to see how one translates to the other. And you know, I honestly believe that we were much more respectful regarding things like littering in our day. I walk through the elementary school yard that adjoins the park and after luncthime there is crap all over the schoolyard. I remember when I was in school how we were ordered by the teachers on noon patrol to pick up our ribbish. . Watching a documentary on TV the other night that showed a trip on a submersible that went down to 1200 feet in the Caribbean and there, at that depth, were beer bottles on the bottom.

  2. Hear Hear! (or is that here here?)

    I work across the street from a high school. The area is a garbage.

  3. In my experience, its the parents not teaching them and the teachers not ordering kids to pick up their own rubbish that lies at the root of this problem. I think my generation was more respectful generally because that was expected of us and reinforced.

    There is no reason these kids can’t be taught. They just haven’t been.

  4. Garbage was our number one complaint about life in India. The kids were marginally better than the adults. When one asked about it, the normal answer was “the government doesn’t care about cleaning it up”. Wonder if that thinking underlies what we see here. It is always someone else’s job, and not our responsibility.

    • Watched a good documentary about the Bombay Railway last evening. Aside from it being a fascinating study about a place so overcrowded I couldn’t help but be staggered, I was equally staggered by the amount of rubbish along the rail lines. So I think I undestand whereof you speak, Jane.

  5. Hey, no flies on the high school within which I happen to work. Our school grounds are clean and kempt. Our students are respectful and grateful for the hours of preparation a teacher must commit in order to properly deliver core curriculum. And monkeys will now fly out of my butt.

  6. We had litter clearing duties in the playground when at junior school…..stopped any idea of littering in later life.
    Apart from which it was a social taboo to eat or drink in the street…

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