Mar 6 2011

Trashing the Planet

BIP 009This past Thursday afternoon I decided to drive over to Breaks Interstate Park.  With all the rain we had received in recent days I knew the water would be up and that this might offer some nice photographic opportunities.  My hunch was right and I did manage to get some images I liked.  I also captured some I didn’t like at all.   The images I didn’t like were not good because I failed to expose correctly or did a poor job with my compositions.  It was the subject matter—trash.

Along the banks of the Russell Fork River were hundreds of plastic bottles.  These were not placed there intentionally.  They had all been discarded at various places upstream and the swollen waters had carried them to this location making one of my favorite places in the park a mess.  Just a short distance from this spot I encountered another eyesore.  Some  group had deposited their beer and food containers off the side of the road.  It was obvious that this act of littering was intentional.  Some folks had partied in this area and didn’t bother to take their trash with them when they left. 

BIP 015Seeing all the trash diminished my experience at Breaks Interstate Park.  I usually leave such beautiful places feeling happier and more peaceful but this time the presence of all the litter saddened me.  I left discouraged but also reminded how important it is that we take better care of God’s Creation.

Unfortunately, my experience at Breaks Interstate Park was not an isolated experience.  There are few places you can go anymore where you do not see litter—discarded plastic containers, glass bottles, loose paper, cardboard boxes, etc.   We are literally trashing the planet.  This litter does far more than mess up beautiful pictures.  It degrades the environment and can even cause health problems for both humans and animals alike.  The presence of trash also makes it harder for us to see God in His Creation. 

BIP 074Psalms 24:1 says the earth belongs to the Lord.  I know we tend to think of it as being our home but it is really His.  From the looks of things we are not taking very good care of it.  I know if someone came into my house and trashed it I would not be happy.  I would consider the violator guilty of great disrespect.  It makes you wonder what God thinks when He looks upon the earth.  It makes you wonder what He thinks of us.  And hopefully, it also makes you wonder what you can do to find a solution.

There are, of course, solutions to this problem.  We can refrain from littering ourselves, practice recycling, purchase items that use less packaging, and participate in litter removal programs.  We can also help educate and encourage others to respect the earth and be better stewards.  Failing to make such efforts will result in further trashing of the planet and reveal our disrespect for the Owner of the house.  Neither result is wise or desirable if we want to honor the Creator.