To the editor:
I am a native of Lake Placid and currently a senior at St. Lawrence University. This semester I have chosen to take an environmental communication class in which we are assigned to do an educational project. I have chosen to blog about littering and the harmful effects it has on animals in the Adirondacks and on St. Lawrence's campus.
I originally decided to do this project from noticing trash on the street where I live and thinking about the deer we often see roaming the neighborhood. To think we have wildlife and trash in the same area has fueled me into educating Adirondack residents and students on campus. I have decided to take pictures of trash and document its location, while also researching how harmful it is for animals to come in contact with garbage.
After researching on exactly how littering can affect animals, I have learned how species can form habits of looking for scraps in residential areas or landfills. Bears are known to be mischievous animals when it comes to searching through trash. They will stop at nothing to break into a dumpster or trash can in order to salvage any remains for themselves. What's worse is, if a bear finds a specific area where trash is present, it will come back for the trash and become reliant on that garbage for food.
Of course, bears aren't the only animals seen in mountainous areas, but garbage can affect all animals in the same way. By mistaking trash for food, animals are liable to consume garbage. This can block their digestive systems and make them unable to process food, which, in turn, can be fatal. A major way of preventing this from happening is to not litter and to properly dispose trash in a garbage can.
Instead of preserving the natural wildlife of the Adirondacks, we're continuously making it more dangerous for them by leaving refuse on the ground. Also keep in mind that the more trash we see on the ground, the more likely people will litter. We are not only endangering indigenous species but are also devaluing the land where we live.
So, next time you see garbage or are thinking of disposing your trash on the ground, remember that you are greatly impacting the beautiful nature and wildlife that surrounds you.