Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Be mindful: Do not leave remnants of your homecoming activities

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Kennedy Meyer

Homecoming is approaching, and in my time here at Southeast I’ve noticed a trend when it comes to this tradition. With tailgating and school spirit, inevitably comes a substantial amount of trash left in the streets of our home away from home.

We need to take better care of our little river town. Homecoming is a celebration, and there is simply a lot happening on that day — but, that doesn’t excuse anyone from leaving cans or bottles, or any other form of trash, in the campus parking lots for facilities management to pick up the following day.

The trash that is left behind gets picked up by someone who didn’t put it there in the first place, which is an absolute inconvenience for that person, in my mind. Quite honestly, it’s embarrassing to see the amount of litter left as a result of homecoming. We’re college students, we should be able to pick up after ourselves at this point.

It seems when alcohol hits students’ systems, they can no longer make the responsible decision to take care of their own trash. It’s a simple effort, honestly.

Littering not only affects the environment and the people living in it — animals are killed and maimed due to people’s inability to take responsibility for their own trash.

In fact, animals can be harmed by those of us who think we’re disposing of our trash responsibly. There are simple measures we can take to prevent any such unintended harm, such as cutting all of the sections of a six-pack ring and crushing cans before tossing them in the recycling bin.

I strongly encourage recycling any cans that may be a product of celebration this homecoming. Yes, there will be trash cans present at the tailgating events, but you can bring a trash bag to dispose of your cans and bring it to recycling later.

I would encourage recycling to become a part of our daily lives as much as possible. Sure, it can be hard to do all the time, but so long as we are able to make a conscious effort to do so, recycling can become a daily habit. Recycling isn’t difficult; we just have to make the effort.

If at all interested in doing something as simple as recycling, but you’re not sure what you can or cannot recycle, here is a list of all of the different ways cans, metals, glass and paper can be recycled.

The issue of littering is not only a local matter, it’s a national and worldwide problem, but we can’t expect anything to change if we don’t.

Just be mindful of the trash you’re producing and where that trash ends up on a day-to-day basis. This should be something we’re all mindful of year-round, not just on homecoming.

There are ways to help lower the amount of litter cluttering Cape Girardeau. Volunteer. There are volunteer organizations that focus on controlling litter throughout the city. If you’re feeling extra generous you can go out and pick up trash on your own. There’s a new trend called "plogging," which is where you go on a jog and pick up trash along the way.

Nothing is stopping us from keeping our town (and Earth) clean.

The impending fact is that no matter who reads this and who doesn’t, there is going to be trash to pick up on the Sunday following homecoming. So, please, if you know you contributed to any of it, go out and help the facilities workers clean up your mess.

Animals cannot and should not have to exist forever in a trashed out environment. We must take action, now.