Monday, November 10, 2008

How to teach responsibility?

I went to a seminar at the University of Denver on the morning after Halloween. There must have been some party - plastic beer cups were scattered along the edge of the road for blocks. (I picked some up to recycle them.)

This got me to thinking - how would it be possible to teach these college students how to put their waste into trash cans that are all over that area? Which begs the bigger question - how can we change our society to teach people responsibility? Many of the parents of these students don't litter, but they were not able to pass that value along to them.

Any ideas??


Shane said...

Number one: How do you recycle these cups? I mean, should we bring our own cups to any Merrill barbeque or risk being the second in line on a college beer cup?

Number two: Sometimes you just have to wait around a while and younger people grow up into older people who conform to the society in some pleasant ways.

In a related note: A week ago we drove down a lovely road near our home and noticed someone had thrown a queen sized mattress into the side ditch. How would the Merrill man advise responding to that?

I Was Just Thinking.... said...

Is this a heads up for Ian not to apply to DU?

I think younger folks, I would include myself in this when I was, er, young, don't see the long-term effects of their current lives. Everything is the now, the here, the present, the immediate. Maybe we need to resurrect the crying Indian commercial?

Paul Merrill said...

Barb - I'd not worry about Ian going to DU. I went to a state university with lotsa partying, and there was no problem. You just hang out with the non-partyers. And I remember the indian-tears commercial. They should revive it!

Shane - We can recycle those cups through our curbside pickup. We pay extra, but it's our little contribution to having a cleaner environment. You do have a good point about kids growing up and learning responsibility. The mattress? Those are hard to recycle. I'd take it to an apartment complex's dumpster. They are used to handling those!