Advertisement

Litterbugs No More: Litter Education in Louisiana


Next time you think about throwing trash out the window, you might want to think twice. It may seem like your tiny bit of garbage isn’t doing much harm to our beautiful local habitats, but would it change your mind to know litter currently costs Louisiana over $40 million?

Act 72 (HB 111), signed into law by Governor Edwards during the 2017 regular legislative session, requires that litter education and prevention be taught in Louisiana public schools from kindergarten through fifth grade. The state, however, will not dictate how the law will be implemented, and there is no anticipated direct material effect on governmental revenue. Susan Russell, Executive Director of Keep Louisiana Beautiful, says litter education is critical because it will give children the tools they need to create and sustain environmentally friendly habits.

“We are counting on them to break the cycle of neglect and to raise the bar for a clean and beautiful Louisiana,” Russell says. “It’s our hope and expectation that they will become environmentally responsible young people and leaders of tomorrow. They will be best equipped to handle this challenge through lessons learned in the classroom.”

Litter itself and the way it is handled has changed tremendously over the past few decades. There is now single use waste, like plastic water bottles and plastic bags, at every turn, which was not a widespread problem for older generations. And, unfortunately, parents often do nothing to break the cycle and educate their children. Russell acknowledges, “Parents and families and the broader community do play a role in this education, and it must be taught and reinforced in schools.”

Keep Louisiana Beautiful and other like-minded organizations have created free lesson plans that are aligned to the state learning standards. Teachers and schools can download these plans or develop and use their own curriculum. Basically, this law should enhance education, not detract from it. “This will not put an additional burden on the teachers or take away from instructional time because littering concepts can be used as a tool to teach core subject matter,” Russell says. “Schools also have the flexibility of deciding to use currently developed lessons, conducting school-wide programs, or embedding it into existing curriculum.”

Pollution affects every person in our community, no matter race, gender, or economic background, and it cannot be ignored. It affects tourism and wildlife, and it has even become a public safety issue. “The appearance of our state is a direct reflection of the people who live here,” Russell says. “It’s a problem that sooner or later Louisiana is going to have to address in a big way. It will not go away on its own, and we cannot pick up our way out of this problem. This law will add teeth to our environmental education efforts, but we will also continue our education work in local communities to support and reinforce what is being taught in the classroom.”

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

10 Aug 2017


By Madeline Rathle

Recent Articles more articles

It's Time to Party!

in Party

Before your birthday girl can make a wish and blow out the candles, there’s a lot of planning to be done. Don’t worry, though! We are here to help. From choosing a theme and sending out invitations to ordering a cake and scheduling entertainment, we

July 2018 Books

in Turn the Page

Turn the Page.

Louisiana Pediatric Cardiology Foundation

in Local Profile

In the United States, a young competitive athlete dies every three days due to sudden cardiac death, and often the cause is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This fatal condition can go undiagnosed through physicals. Heart screens, however, can show

I'm Not Here for Your Entertainment

in A Day in the Life of Dad

Now that we are in the full swing of summer, my children drag themselves out of their rooms each morning, and before they even get the sleep out of their eyes, they ask...“What are we doing today?”

Featured Listings more listings

Elite Gymnastics

in Day Camps

Elite Gymnastics offers half or full days. Flexibility, affordability, and fun are our goals. We offer lunch and snacks every day of the week for an additional fee.

Kidcam Camps

in Day Camps

Join Kidcam Camps for a summer of hands-on fun! Science experiments, special guests, talent shows, water days, games, field trips, swimming, and more! We keep the campers busy all day with great hours and flexible planning.

Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School

in Private Schools

The mission of Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School is to minister to the educational needs of our parish family by providing a teaching atmosphere which promotes gospel values and academic excellence for our students.

Advertisement
Newsletter