HAVE you seen rubbish or cigarette butts thrown out of a car window?
Or worse still, have you had the misfortune of rubbish tossed out of a high-rise building landing on you?
I was at an assignment at a PPR flat in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya, when a “projectile” landed just a few metres in front of me.
Fortunately, it turned out to be discarded fruit and did not cause any injury or damage. But it did startle those nearby with the “splat” sound it made as it hit the ground.
Personally, I feel that it is partly due to lack of courtesy and civic consciousness.
A simple “thank you” for holding the lift door open, “sorry” for accidentally bumping into someone or “excuse me” to walk past someone seems to be missing these days.
Courtesy is defined as “the showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behaviour towards others”, while civic consciousness refers to “a form of social consciousness co-existing with the concept of citizen”.
Having such good habits allow us to show consideration and respect to the people around us.
I believe that parents should set a good example, as children are likely to emulate what they observe and their behaviour is shaped by how their parents conduct themselves, whether consciously or subconsciously.
If a parent decides to throw a piece of tissue paper out of the car window or balcony, there is a chance the child who is with them will consider it acceptable behaviour and repeat the same act in future.
To prevent developing another generation of litterbugs, it may be best to set a good example by not throwing rubbish indiscriminately and only discarding them at the correct places – whether rubbish bins or recycling bins.
Speaking of rubbish and bins, the same assignment I covered included the launch of a 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) cage.
The 3R recycling cage was to encourage separation of domestic waste and promote recycling initiatives.
It was also aimed at helping the nation achieve a recycling rate of 30% by 2020.
Call me a sceptic, but if waste separation and recycling is not done at home or not an everyday habit, then having a 3R recycling cage would not make a difference.
My colleagues have reported about recycling cages placed by waste collection company Alam Flora at high-rise residential buildings in Kuala Lumpur that had turned into eyesores and used as dumping grounds for all sorts of rubbish, including old mattresses and organic waste.
However, what I found heartening was Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation’s (SWCorp) efforts to educate children on how to separate waste and practise recycling.
SWCorp’s booth at the assignment I was at featured a miniature version of the 3R recycling cage and the staff demonstrated to the young ones how to identify the types of recyclable materials (paper, metal and plastic) and correctly dispose of them.
Since we are still fresh into the new year, can we all make it a resolution to be more caring and understanding of our community and environment?
We can start small, such as by holding the door open for a colleague or giving up our seat on a train to someone in need.
Hopefully this translates into something that becomes an ingrained habit and sets a good example for a cleaner and more conducive living environment.