Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute

An empty Coke can there, a couple napkins floating across the floor pushed by the wind, cigarette butts found near smoke-free areas on campus. There is litter almost anywhere a student looks. Try walking along the newly laid out walkway and not acknowledge its path lined with green palm trees and grass so new students aren't allowed to walk on it. Try and walk down that same walkway again and count up the pieces of garbage strewn about. There are trashcans scattered all along campus and no matter how much a person has to throw away only a few steps must be taken to find one. Even though SMC is a college that is focused on making this world a greener living environment there is still this strong apathy among many students on campus that it's not everyone's responsibility to clean up and take care of the educational surroundings a lot of students spend five days a week in.

It almost feels as if there is defiance in the air by many students. As if throwing an empty bottle on the floor is going to make a better statement than to just throw it in the many recycle cans found right next to any trashcan. Sustainable Works is right across the street from campus located at 1744 Pearl Street and walking into the office that works to make Santa Monica a greener city there is even trash next to the path that leads students into a group to discuss how to be more sustainable. How is it that students for a college that is so focused on alternative energy and a sustainable lifestyle can be so apathetic to this important cause? Many may tack it onto ignorance and lack of education, but there are so many free sources found on campus to explain the benefits of a cleaner greener environment, and still there is trash on campus.

Many students on campus do their part and make sure to recycle and not litter as part of daily habits. Perry Sasson, a student here at SMC who actively recycles, believes it is lack of education and a little bit of laziness, "I guess they don't understand the consequences of their actions. Most people don't clean up after themselves at home, why would they also clean up on campus?" This is the problem feared by many who do their part on campus and throughout the city. Many don't realize the impact one person makes. One person becomes dozens and dozens becomes millions, so there needs to be something done.

There is no excuse for the amount of litter found on the school's campus, and if everyone did their part it would dramatically change the feel of the SMC grounds. Students need to make an effort to respect their school and those who already do need to make the effort to relay that respect onto the ones who may not think it matters. If everyone did their small part, then the problem could be eliminated altogether. Let's walk around campus and through the new walkway without stepping over a plastic fork from the Fresh and Natural Café. Let's make it all the way to the new fountain near Pico and do nothing but admire the crisp and clean campus, and smile that the recycle bins are full of bottles and cans instead of dirty napkins from a toss of the hand.

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