Letter: Don’t litter

Published 9:48 am Sunday, April 2, 2017

Have you seen any of the photographs of downtown Lagrange at the Mall, the D’elevant Ballroom or our museum from days gone by? There’s a commonality inherent in all those photos that is strikingly different from life in downtown LaGrange today. Can you guess what that is?

Answer: The absence of litter in the streets.

Contrast those times today with a casual walk, almost any day, in downtown LaGrange. You will notice, on the ground, all kinds of paper trash, glass bottles and cigarette butts, even turned over garbage cans. If you’re energetic take a walk on the lower levels of the parking deck. There you’ll find empty pizza boxes and doggie bags from restaurants miles away.

Recently, I passed a group of young grade schoolers getting into their van. Just before they were all belted in, one of the little tykes rolled down his window and threw out a half full box of popcorn, including the box, on to the pavement. I stopped, looked at him, then pointed to the mess. His mother, looking flustered, popped out of the car to ask me what I wanted. Chuckling I said, “Your son just threw his popcorn out the window.” Without saying a word, she walked around the car, looked, shrugged her shoulders got back in and drove off.

When I was their age, we had a Make America Beautiful campaign in school to clean up our public parks, roads and neighborhoods. We even coined the phrase, “Don’t be a litter bug!”

Please respect our beautiful downtown like it was your own property. Throw your empty containers and other trash in the various garbage cans conveniently placed downtown. Wrap your used gum in its wrapper and throw it away– never on the ground. Not only is the gum unsightly and unsanitary, if eaten by little animals they will suffer a painful death from an obstruction of their intestines. This takes only a few seconds, folks. Most important, teach your kids to do the same.

In short, please don’t be a litter bug!

Nick Vlachos, MD