LITTER IS GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

yotally 4 episode logo

Posted on May 22, 2021


Have you ever looked at litter and thought to yourself, “Wow. We are totally destroying our environment”, then picked up a piece of trash and felt better about yourself? I know I have, and that’s a problem.

why read when you can listen?

In this fourth episode of the yotally podcast, I address an idea that may or may not have initially been my idea: that litter is good for the environment. I suggest you listen to the episode instead of reading this blog post: dramatic music, a humorous story, engaging speech, and breathy, raw vocals await! If you’d prefer not to listen, or you don’t have your headphones, you can read the gist here, or in my twitter thread in the fun facts below:

THE GIST

  • When you see litter, you think “woah, we’re really messing up the environment”.
  • If you pick up that piece of litter, chances are you’re going to feel better about the environment. You did something good! The environment is healing!
  • However, this does not actually improve the actual state of the environment. Sure, maybe a rabbit doesn’t eat a candy wrapper, or your favorite park looks a bit cleaner, but that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. What really matters is the volume of carbon emissions we pump into the atmosphere on an annual basis.
  • Thus, it would be in the environment’s best interest to have as much litter as possible on a local level. Then, as many people as possible would be that much more aware of the damage we are causing to the environment (both people who have the agency to make choices on an individual level AS WELL AS people who control our societal organizations and can influence choices on a wider scale).

There is one additional idea I didn’t discuss in the podcast, but I believe addresses at least a few of the counterarguments to my claim: biodegradable litter. If we throw banana peels and apple cores all over the place, animals wouldn’t load their guts with plastic, and humans would still internalize that we’re destroying the earth as we know it (which I am making the baseline assumption that this is a bad thing. Probably more on this to come on a future episode.).

Fun Facts

I mention in the episode that I found a cool spot for the cover photo. That walking bridge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is where I recorded the episode (just a voice memo on my phone).

The whole idea was summarized by me feverishly tweeting on my phone on the walk home. This short tweet thread covers the whole idea:

After the events described in the episode, I aggressively tweeted the above thread, got back to my friend Chase’s place, chilled for a bit, ran back to the bridge near where I was berated, recorded the podcast on my phone, ran home, showered, edited the podcast (very minimally, mostly just making the dramatic music and some basic EQ / cuts), then posted it. One night, just a couple hours! Who needs an extensive process.

This yotally episode inspired the idea for the next couple of yotally episodes – things I’m sort of annoyed by, about which I yell at my phone. Stay tuned!


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