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By: Mary Jean Yon, Executive Director, on July 08, 2016
What is it that makes people think it is o.k. to litter? Is it a matter of personal choice or a misplaced belief that somebody else will come along and pick up after them? Litter studies show that 85% of littering behavior is the result of individual attitudes and all too often those individuals are under the age of 30, as opposed to those that are older.
Sure, we know there is such a thing as unintentional litter where debris blows out of the back of a vehicle or a garbage truck’s tarp isn’t on properly. But how do you explain that roadside mattress or littering in public parks, beaches and other public spaces? What can be done to instill that sense of ownership so we can do away with that “not my responsibility” excuse?
Keep America Beautiful (KAB) practices a Behavior Change System which has proven to be an effective way to achieve lasting improvement in a community’s quality of life. Keep Florida Beautiful and all Florida Affiliates adhere to this practice as part of our KAB certification. The system was developed for KAB by behavior scientists and includes a Five-Step Management Process and Four Behavior Change Strategies.
Traditional cleanups do a good job of removing litter and motivating and educating volunteers but we need to deal with the root problem which is littering behavior. Do your part by leading by example and educating your friends and family. There is nothing o.k. about littering!