Unless you are a curmudgeonly so and so you probably spend at least two minutes a day trying to make yourself look presentable. After all, it’s not nice when people gasp and recoil as you step on a bus. And it’s not just about looks; most of us do a wide range of activities at least in part because we want to have things to talk about and share with other people and because we don’t them to shun us.
Without resorting to amateur psychology, sometimes we behave in certain ways because we want to be liked. It ties in with the part of our brain that makes us smile at people instead of growling like a werewolf when they approach our desk, for example.
But for some people this social-politeness disappears as soon as we think no one’s looking. So we curse at the people on the radio in our cars but sit in silent contemplation on the train. We might toss the odd drink can aside on a remote beach path but it wouldn’t cross our minds in a crowded shopping centre.
Unfortunately this is one of the reasons why we have a litter problem in certain areas of the country. People act one way in private and another in public and forget that their actions, when added to those of other people, have a massive impact.
This scenario can be expanded. If we look at Scotland as a whole we see a nation proud of its history and natural landscape and generally well thought of around the world. Yet, when people from abroad look closer, they sometimes see things that Scottish people couldn’t be proud of: rubbish on streets and beaches, landfill sites filled with rubbish, a general lack of recycling bins.
At Keep Scotland Beautiful we want people to stop and consider the consequences of their actions. Before you drop litter just think “what if everyone did this” and “what impression does this leave people visiting Scotland with.” We work everyday to combat litter and the problems of waste, not just for climate change but also because it will make ours a better society.