One of my pet hates is litter.

Litter seems to be an endemic problem in Ireland. I live in a rural environment; but if I walk up the lane outside our house I find it littered with plastic bottles, drink cans, crisp packets and all manner of rubbish.

I live near Clonakilty in West Cork. A picturesque town that has recently won awards for being Ireland’s tidiest town as well as an international ward for its floral displays. Yet its streets are littered with dog excrement!

Two events really prompted me to post this,

  1. I was driving home one evening from work when a crisp packet was thrown out of the window of the car in front.
  2. Mrs. H. and I were sitting in our car in the car park at a local beach. The car park backs onto a small grassy area at the edge of a wetland reserve. Another car pulled in and child (aged about ten) got out, threw an empty coke can onto the grass and got back into the car. They left a few minutes later, no one else got out of the car.

What does this blatant disregard say for the Irish respect for their environment? OK, I know I shouldn’t generalize; but the level of litter in general makes me think this is a general problem.

Now I’m going to extrapolate. I believe that respect for the environment is a reflection of respect for the self. If I don’t respect myself then I’m not going to respect my environment and if I’m not respecting my environment it’s because I’m not respecting my self.

So what does all this littering say about the way the Irish respect themselves?