In order to be able to stop someone from littering it is important to try and understand the psychology of a person who regularly litters. Why do they do it? Is it laziness? Lack of education? Lack of respect/knowledge for the environment? Do they feel bad about doing it? Are they unwilling to change their habits? If someone has reached the age of, say, 50, and they still don’t know how bins function, is it too late for them to change.

So many questions…litterers really are a complex breed of person. Hopefully my handy guide at the end of this post may help someone as I am starting to wonder whether certain people even know how bins operate.

Before we moved here I genuinely believed that, for the most part, people who have grown up in a rural area would naturally care more about the environment over people who have only ever lived in towns or cities. I now realise I was quite wrong in this assumption. I also believed that above all other professions, farmers and people who work in the farming industry would be the most fiercely anti-litter nature-protector types. And based on the evidence around me (I live on a working farm), I realise that I was about as far from correct as it was possible to be. It has continually shocked me since the day we moved here nearly 5 years ago.

Today I decided to tackle a spot beside the A76 which has bothered me for ages. It is too dangerous to reach it from the roadside so I went through the farmer’s field and spent half an hour pulling a mountain of crap out from underneath 2 trees. The picture below doesn’t make it very clear how bad it was but this is what it looked like just after I started:

And this is what I managed to get:

And then this is what the spot looked like after:

Due to the position of this spot, pretty much every piece of litter I found would’ve been thrown from a passing vehicle which I find truly hard to understand. Have you ever thrown a can/bottle/crisp packet/polystyrene box/2 litre bottle of piss from your vehicle as you were driving through beautiful rural farmland? What makes you do that? What has gone so wrong in your mind that makes you think that this is an acceptable thing to do? Is the cleanliness of the inside of your vehicle more important than the environment? What do you think happens to the stuff that you throw out of your moving vehicle?

More questions which I am unable to answer.

I am very angry at every person who has ever intentionally thrown litter in Upper Nithsdale. I am angry at them because this place should be an absolute paradise but it is wholly ruined by those who show the area no respect. I am angry at them because, for a while, I believed this area could’ve been our forever home but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life picking up litter by the roadside. I don’t want to have to see it every day and I don’t want to live in close proximity to people who regularly contribute towards it. If I’m going to be picking up litter, I’d rather live somewhere where I can be doing it on a beach with a lovely group of like minded people who, like me, also believe that people who litter should be dealt with in a very precise way.

Anyway, this is a fairly pointless rant but maybe one day I’ll get some answers to my questions so I can try and understand why people do this (I should just ask my neighbours). And if you are driving anywhere (but especially along the A76 past our house) please just don’t throw your crap out of the window. In case you are struggling, here is a handy 3 step instruction list of what you should do with your rubbish:

1 – Place empty can/bottle/crisp packet etc into a carrier bag and place on the backseat or on the passenger seat, or on the floor of the vehicle (lots of options there). Even if you don’t have a carrier bag handy then just place the items there, it’s okay.

2 – Here’s the great news which may come as a surprise – you don’t even need to make a special stop to dispose of the rubbish in your vehicle! When you reach your intended destination, scan for the nearest bin (if you’re in a car park chances are you’ve struck gold in terms of bin options – there might even be recycling bins you could use, but one step at a time). If you are going home or to work then you can also place the rubbish in a bin in these locations.

3 – Now all you need to do is remove the rubbish from your vehicle and place it inside the bin, in much the same way you would normally throw it from your window into the great wide world, except this time you are carefully placing it inside a hollow object (this is called the bin).

Once you have followed these 3 steps then you can happily continue with your day. Hope this might help someone.