When we were kids, I remember the three of us sisters riding in the back seat, arguing over who got stuck in the middle. We'd call dibs on the window seats, because air conditioning was not standard in cars and ours sure didn't have it. On hot summer days, the window seats were the only way to survive a trip.
Moreover, if we had a candy bar or a piece of bubblegum, the kid stuck in the middle had to reach over and risk getting punched when tossing the candy wrapper out the window. WHAT? Our parents let that happen? Yes, there was no trash bag in the car and, back then, it didn't seem to be unacceptable to flip the paper out the window. "Everyone did it."
About the same time in the mid-1950s, I started hearing about not being a "litterbug." The anti-litter campaign went on nationally for maybe a decade or more, with slogans like "Keep America Beautiful -- Don't be a Litterbug." It was very effective for those of us young, impressionable kids who now consider littering akin to disobeying any of the Ten Commandments.
We kids of the '50s and youth of the '60s not only learned our own lessons well but also policed our parents about littering until they, too, adopted the habit. So if an entire generation can be easily trained with a catchy campaign and cartoonish bug to properly dispose trash, why can't we project updated values on another young generation? Today's youth can and should be programmed as we were with a recycle message so that all trash is not just disposed of but also recycled in a proper manner.
See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.