Dear Litterbugs (wherever you may be)

A figure made out of cans collected along the highway. PHOTO: Heike Roth

Do you enjoy the Yukon as I do? Going out and breathing the fresh air. Seeing the clear water of streams and lakes and exploring the environment through urban walks on the trails. Being fascinated by all of this untouched environment and living beside all of those wild animals (and some that eventually wander through your yard. There’s less traffic here than in most parts of the world—and only a small number of highways (see for a list of Yukon highways). And, you know, I’m really happy that we have only those (maybe you’re asking yourself, Why?).

First of all, the pristine environment is kept alone in most parts; and second, the “garbage dump” is almost 5,000 kilometres long.

What garbage dump? you may ask. I’m talking about all of that junk and garbage along the highways. And I’m wondering why people, on one hand, enjoy this beautiful Yukon and why, on the other hand, they just dump stuff out of their car or truck windows. Do they think it is somehow taken away by somebody? Would it not be easier for them to take that garbage home and throw it in the bin? They (the litterbugs) may think that a can or a bottle or a plastic piece (or similar), here and there, does not make a difference. Well it does make a difference, as it adds up.

The other day I cleared just a small stretch (200 metres) of the Klondike Highway by where I live. And guess what … I collected 31 cans and 10 other items, which included plastic cups, foil and a glass bottle.

Unfortunately, the government highway signs that encourage us to “Keep Yukon Clean,” are not helping as much as they should be. Do we really want to show this “picture” of the Yukon to tourists who will be arriving soon?Thanks for understanding. And really … let’s help to keep the Yukon clean!

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