Posted by: safedriver | July 9, 2010

Littering is a nasty driving habit

I recently posted an article about washing your car and cleaning the interior. I like having a clean car and garbage doesn’t belong on the floor any where; including my car. I guess it’s turned into a bit of an obsession for me. I despise littering and what’s worse is when someone throws garbage out of their open vehicle window. How many people do you know that do that?

I’ll often see people throwing coffee cups and wrappers from their moving car, but I bet that if you threw garbage from your vehicle onto their property, they would most likely become very upset at you. What’s the difference? If littering makes you that upset when someone does it to you or your property, you need to stop doing it in the city you live in or visit; especially while driving.

Littering will get you a fine in most, if not all, jurisdictions. Some people just don’t care about the ramifications of their actions. But let’s put a twist on this to see if people who litter can stop. If someone threw garbage from their vehicle while they were stopped at a red light, what if someone threw that garbage back into the car when the vehicle was stopped at the red light? How would the driver feel if that happened? Shocked? Angry? Would they just laugh?

I personally think it would pretty funny. Think about it. The passenger in the car opens their window and throws out an empty coffee cup. You pick it up and throw it back in the vehicle and when the light turns green, the driver drives off with a very stunned passenger.

Although I despise littering anywhere, I don’t think I have enough guts to do that. However, feel free to send a message to people that littering is a nasty habit. Honestly, I don’t want anyone throwing garbage back into someone’s car, but I just thought it would be shocking to them to have the situation reversed.

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Responses

  1. Scott, you can’t do that. You’ll encourage road rage in a hurry. It’s more offensive to throw garbage into someone’s car, even if it’s their own garbage.

    Of course, it depends whose car you throw it into and who you are. Let me demonstrate. I met a guy (while I was walking on Queen st E in Toronto. He was with his wife and three kids, one of which was in a stroller. He told me how he hated people who didn’t stop for him and his family at midblock crossings. You know the ones with zebras and overhead flashing lights? They are hard to see, I had a hard time with them too when I was driving. But this guy was so fed up with people not stopping, he had a plan to deal with it. He showed me half filled plastic drinking water bottle he kept on the canopy of the stroller. He said that now, whenever someone doesn’t stop, he throws one at the car. He has this fantasy of a car or taxi driver driving along with his window open, not noticing him trying to cross where he chucks it through the open window and it lands on the guy’s lap. But I need to point out to you that he’s massive, full of tattoos and looks like a Hell’s Angel. So, if you get all buffed up, take lots of self defense classes and wear a Hell’s Angels jacket, you might be able to get away with tossing garbage back into a kid’s open window. Otherwise, make it easy for yourself. Explain it to people instead of creating a standoff.

    • Thanks Doug. I was only kidding, but didn’t explain that I was kidding….until now. I don’t want someone to actually do that…but thought it would be shocking to the driver if they read this so they wouldn’t throw garbage out of their car.

  2. I’ve done two things when seeing this behaviour in parking lots (never on public streets with traffic).

    1. I’ve walked over, picked up the litter, and told the young lady that I would recycle the can for her.

    2. Walked over, picked up the McDonalds bag, and said the young male, “Dude, come on” and then threw the bag out for him.

    I have no idea if my actions caused any change in these two litterbugs’ behaviour.

  3. I despise littering. I spend endess hours around my own property picking up my lazy neighbors’ filth. There seems to be no pride in one’s hometown! I see lazy nasty folks doing the same in the road.ugh. Show a good example people! This is our world and we must keep it beautiful. It is its OWN reward! Sorry, I had to vent……

    • Thank you for the comment Linda. It’s good to vent in public every now and then. It may help others see your point of view.

  4. Wonderful fantasy. So glad you’re kidding. For years I used to hand it back to them but these days that’s not safe. Now, I smile, ask if they mind if I take it and thank them while handing them a Thank You card from the Museum of Litter for their *donation*. On the back of the card is the time it takes the most commonly littered items to decompose and why littering is harmful to wildlife and the environment. Hopefully, since they didn’t feel attacked and criticized, they will take the time to read the card and become more aware.

    Great post. Thanks for having a litter conversation.


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