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Don’t litter!

Written by: Hendrik

Category: Zero Waste, News

Updated on:


Thank you for littering!

Did I get your attention?

What is this guy talking about? “Thank you for littering?” Has he lost his marbles? I thought it says, “don’t litter?”

Perhaps the right title should have been: “Can we stop littering?” Sorry, my first attempt at using clickbait.

But since I assume all offenders are either brain dead or just really selfish ignorant pricks, I figured this is the best way to get their attention.

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Now, don’t run away because you feel like you have been tricked by me.

I actually want to learn from you.

Yes, you. The one that drives around the block 10 times and throws the empty pack of cigarettes or the beer can out of the driving car window.

Do you feel like the world is treating you wrong, and no one understands you?

Because mate, I get it. I have been there myself.

Seriously, even though wanting to save the earth by going zero waste sounds a bit gooey, like I put too much Nutella on my toast and garnish it with some cherries on top.

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I mean it, I have been to some dark places myself in my life, wanting to end it all. Drowning my pain in alcohol and drugs.

But get this the world doesn’t owe you anything.

Are you working all day?

You probably work pretty hard in a job that you may not always feel totally appreciated in, right? Do you know the good news? Your feelings about this job indicate that you are destined to more, to a better and bigger life.

If we want things to get better in our life, well, first we have to accept that we are here at this moment because of our past decisions. Nothing wrong with that, but we can not and will not repeat them.

It all starts with becoming aware.

The beauty is you are going to see your environment as a reflection of yourself. Now, I am not talking about one specific person here. I am talking about a huge percentage of people living on earth.

The way we are treating our planet currently is just a reflection of the disconnection from within.

If we were a harmonious culture, we would respect one another and the mother of all.

You don’t shit where you eat, right?

How come we have diarrhea and are vomiting at the same time in our cozy home?

Oh yeah and surprise, no one is coming after you to clean this mess up.

Do you know those times when nothing matters and all you can feel is bliss?

Those days when all your worries disappear, all the daily grind and stress is secondary, and you feel one with the universe?

Those are the days when you are in harmony with yourself and most of us; that happens when we are in nature.

It could be the beach, and you are just looking at the endless horizon. It could be walking through a forest or at night gazing into the sky full of stars. In these moments, I remember how insignificant my little problems down here at earth are. We are just this speck somewhere in the vast universe.

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Next thing, I walk into a can of coke, and it rips me out of this moment of bliss, reminding me painfully of the way we treat our home planet.

And I am thinking to myself: “Don’t litter.”

It could be the beach and you are just looking at the end.

Yeah, you heard that one before, hey? Still, why give a damn? I am only here for 80 years?!?

Oh, did I use some foul language to stop you from falling asleep?  It’s too easy; don’t litter? Are we humans that short-sighted?

It’s soo 80’s to throw your wrapper on the ground after you ate your raiders, now twix and think it is somehow attractive to the other sex.

Boohoo, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that shit ain’t cool no more. If you, like me, surf or kitesurf, or do any water sports, then you should be very concerned (really everyone should be).

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Why do you ask? Because the water that you probably swallowed for the last two hours trying to catch that awesome wave is full of microplastics.

Related: What is Microplastic and how to avoid it?

Sadly, the shrimps you are about to chuck on the barbie, yep, you guessed right. They also ingest tiny, tiny particles of plastic.

So whenever we throw something on the ground, it doesn’t just magically disappear; it breaks into smaller pieces of the same stuff that then gets washed into the oceans or ends up in the groundwater.

What effects does it have on me and others?

  • There is the obvious one, and it doesn’t look nice when you are walking around, and you can see rubbish on the ground. But luckily, most of us have two hands and can pick it up and put it in the bin. Even the one-handed people can do it too; sorry, no discrimination here.
  • Plogging is a movement from Sweden where people go jogging and collect rubbish, so really no excuses here.
  • It can kill and most likely will kill animals. If they ingest it, they will slowly starve to death since their belly is full of plastic and can’t absorb any more nutritious food. Starving with a full belly, that doesn’t sound nice, does it?
  • When we eat “freshly” caught fish from the ocean, the percentage is very high for the fish to have microplastic inside it. Meaning they eat smaller fish that have microplastic inside them since it smells like food to them. Then we eat the bigger fish, and voilà, we just ate plastic. The effects that it can have on the human body are still not clear, but you probably can imagine that it isn’t good for you and your body if you can count well.

What can I do?

It’s simple yet effective. Don’t litter! Don’t litter! Think about the past generations coming to live on this planet. Don’t just think short term.

Think about what you enjoy eating. Do you want to feed yourself with plastic and then later wonder why you have cancer?

Yeah, plastic is very cheap to produce, and production isn’t going to stop from now on. But we as the consumer have a lot more power than we think.

Have you ever noticed that once people were buying more organic produce, all the supermarkets started stocking up on organic produce? When we stop buying one thing, the supermarkets adapt and quickly make other products available to us.

We are in control, we control what we buy.


  1. Bring your own shopping bag to the store.
  2. Buy a SodaStream
  3. The 5 R’s
  4. Grow your own veggies
  5. Start a compost in the garden
  6. Buy clothes made from recycled materials
  7. Take the zero waste challenge


We are living in a plastic age, and sure it is impossible to stop using plastic. The keyboard I am typing on is made from plastic: the hairdryer, the pen, the interior of your car.

It is more about becoming aware of how much plastic we use. Where can we avoid using single-use plastic, and how can we change to more sustainable items. It’s the single-use plastic that needs to be addressed differently.

Notice when someone throws rubbish on the ground. Don’t just tell them to pick it up; educate them, and tell them about the zero waste man. Even better, be the example.

If you don’t litter, it’s not going to stop plastic pollution, but it is your part towards a cleaner planet. Tell your friends about this and your colleges and make them aware of buying refillable coffee cups instead of using a new styrofoam cup every morning.

Get this, every piece of plastic ever made is still on the planet in some form or another.

Photo of author

Hendrik Kaiser

I've studied biology and lived for 3 years on an off-grid permaculture farm. I love kitesurfing and keeping my body healthy and fit. Hence, I care so much about keeping our environment clean and being as zero waste as possible. Being a zerowasteman is a superpower everyone has inside of themselves, and I want to teach you how you can unleash it.

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