By Annie Mitchell,
Davis High looked like the apocalypse had hit it.
The air hung heavy with smoke from the devastating Northern California wildfire and garbage covered the concrete of the VMC parking lot like an Earth-killing blanket.
The smoke may have left Davis after the much-needed rainfall on Nov. 21, but the parking lot remains a disaster. The rain alone cannot combat the steady flow of In-N-Out wrappers, pizza boxes, and other food debris that DHS students toss into the parking spaces.
It is time for DHS to change its ways. In the name of common courtesy and planet Earth, students should make the extra effort to throw their lunch trash where it belongs- in the trash can.
Litter is objectively disgusting. No one wants to see a half-eaten apple core or used napkin first thing in the morning as they walk into class– currently the depressing reality for many DHS students.
Aesthetics aside, litter also has a negative impact on the economy. Californians spend over $428 million on litter control and clean up every year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
If they are caught littering, students may have to pay a fine of at least $250, as littering is a crime under California law. “It is unlawful to litter or cause to be littered in or upon public or private property,” reads penal code 374.4.
More students would be able to use the parking lot if it were cleaner. I use the VMC parking lot every day, and from my observation at least two parking spaces are unavailable every day because they are conquered by trash.
One piece of trash that a student throws in the parking lot starts a chain reaction. “Litter sends out a message that people do not care about their area and that it is acceptable to litter,” according to the Jefferson-Belmont Regional Solid Waste Authority.
The JBRSWA also notes that human garbage destroys public health and the natural environment by attracting bacteria and vermin. Land-based waste that travels by wind to a water source can also seriously damage marine life and water sanitation.
Littering students may point out that the VMC parking lot does not have easy access to trash cans. They are correct– the nearest trash can in the S-wing can barely be seen from the parking lot.
However, this barrier should not be enough to discourage students from keeping the parking lot clean. Most students walk directly past the S-wing as they enter DHS from their cars and next time they do they should take their trash along with them.
DHS should install more trash cans closer to the parking lot to encourage students to properly dispose of their In-N-Out. Until then, students should show they care about public health and the environment by keeping their trash out of the parking lot.
DHS does not belong in the apocalypse.