|"IT'S ONLY AN ORANGE PEEL!"
- May 25 - IT'S ONLY AN ORANGE PEEL!
I have led outings for the Houston Sierra Club for 18 years. In all that time I cannot
tell you how often I have heard the statement "It's only an orange peel", when I tell
people to pack out the trash that they packed in. The attitude that this statement
represents and it's end result hit me hard recently.
I drove down to Galveston, crossed
on that lovely ferry (saw dolphins and pelicans!), and arrived at the North Jetties
on Bolivar Peninsula. The Houston Sierra Club, in conjunction with many other groups
and individuals, was participating in a trash bash - an effort to keep our beaches,
rivers, and lakes clean of litter and garbage.
As we got our garbage bags and
fanned out on the beach near the jetties the plethora of trash and garbage was amazing and
incredible. Everything plastic that's ever been made in every color of the rainbow
was displayed on top of and buried in the sandy beach and Sargasso Weed. Bottles,
containers, miscellaneous and unknown parts, baggies, plastic packaging - peek into
your own garbage can and you would recognize this refuse.
Then it hit me! A child says, "It's only an orange peel", a mother says, "It's only a six-pack",
a father says "It's only laundry basket", a fisherman says, "It's only a bag of garbage",
a company that supplies offshore rigs says "It's only a load of trash" and our beaches, rivers,
and lakes become trash dumps.
It goes on and on. And it all started with our
attitude about one little orange peel. We say we want clean beaches, rivers, and lakes.
But do our actions match our attitude? Think about it.
Brandt Mannchen, 2012