By Gary Chamberlain
I have been a serious anti-litter advocate for over 10 years and have led the charge in two states by uniting the residents of Northern Arizona and now my hometown and state, Murphy, NC.
In 10 years, I have never seen a more effective anti-litter group then the “Litter Busters of Union County, NC.” This group has become one of my most watched groups because they have many approaches to being effective. They, like our North Carolina Litter-Free Coalition, understand that only through educating our youth will we ever solve the litter epidemic in our beautiful state.
I have had several telephone conversations with Loretta Melancon and Wink, two of the leaders of this group, and we discussed various approaches to reducing litter in North Carolina.
The education aspect of solving the litter issues we face must come from our parents, schools, businesses, and community leaders. Litter affects the image and economy of every community and it has been said that litter can reduce property values up to 8%.Our youth are the anti-litter advocates we desperately need to solve this problem.
The North Carolina Litter-Free Coalition is encouraging all of those that that are tired of seeing the litter on our highways and in our community to pick up at least one bag of litter on the third Saturday of February, May, August and November or whenever you are willing.
This is a volunteer, no-host, at-your-own-risk event. The responsibility, and liability of this effort rests solely in the hands of those that participate. You are to be responsible for yourself. Don’t blame someone else if you get hurt.
It is my hope that the Litter Busters of Union County NC and other anti-litter groups and individuals will continue to share their stories with the media in their communities. If all of these anti-litter groups would share their contact information and the details of when and where they meet then others may join them.
Gary Chamberlain serves as spokesman for the North Carolina Litter-Free Coalition. Reach him at FolksvilleUSA@gmail.com or 928-202-1186.