HOCO litter

JAY HARE/DOTHAN EAGLE Plastic bottles and bags are shown littered along the roadside of a Houston County road in this 2018 file photo.

The Houston County Commission’s discussions this week about the growing litter problem in our area brings to mind a Keep America Beautiful advertisement from 1971 that became one of the most memorable ad campaigns in history. Even people who weren’t born at the time are familiar with the somber Native American looking onto a vista filled with litter, a single tear trailing down his cheek.

While the ad campaign made a lasting impact, the message didn’t. County commissioners discussed the aggravation of litter while commending a youth group from Bay Springs Baptist Church for rising to the challenge of joining the county’s Adopt-A-Mile program to keep the rights of way clean.

The youth group deserves commendation, as do other groups who have answered the call. It speaks to the community’s willingness to participate in volunteer activities to improve our quality of life.

However, with a little responsible behavior on the part of others, an initiative such as this wouldn’t be necessary. It doesn’t take much effort to refrain from tossing bottles, cans, cigarette butts, fast food wrappers and anything else onto the roadsides.

As another character from a different ad campaign from nearly a half century ago -- Woodsy Owl -- would say, “Give a hoot; don’t pollute!” Not only would our landscape look better, all that volunteer effort could be directed toward another initiative.

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