Littering Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 What Is Littering?
  • 0:44 Littering Is Bad for the Earth
  • 1:44 Litter Is Ugly & Expensive
  • 2:36 How to Fight Littering
  • 2:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth has been involved with tutoring since high school and has a B.A. in Classics.

Garbage belongs in garbage cans, not on the ground! Learn what littering is, how it's dangerous to animals, how it's expensive to clean up, and how you can help stop it.

What Is Littering?

Imagine it's a beautiful summer day, and you're out with your friends for milkshakes in the park. You finish your milkshake and look around, but there's no trash can for your empty cup. It's okay to just leave it underneath the park bench, right? Nobody can even see it under there, and you want to go play baseball. You don't want to carry around this gross, sticky milkshake cup.

You might think it's okay, but it's not. Leaving your empty milkshake cup under the bench is littering. Littering means just throwing your garbage somewhere instead of putting it in a trash can. Most people litter when they don't care about the place where they're throwing their trash, or when they think someone else will come and clean up after them.

Littering Is Bad for the Earth

If you're thinking about just one person and just one milkshake cup, it doesn't seem like littering is such a problem. It's just one cup! But it's not just you. A lot of people litter, and all that litter adds up to a big problem.

Litter is bad for the earth, especially plastic litter. When plastic lies on the ground for a long time, chemicals in the plastic can leak out into the soil and poison plants that grow there. Chemicals can also leak out into the lakes and rivers and poison fish.

Litter on the ground can injure animals. For example, animals can get cut on broken glass. Small animals can get stuck in empty bottles and cans. Animals can get their heads stuck inside plastic bags and die because they can't breathe.

If that litter washes into the ocean, animals can eat it and get sick from it. Over one million birds die every year from litter in the ocean. That's almost two birds dying from litter every single minute.

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