DEAR ABBY: Where I work, I see a lot of people from other states and countries, and I hear the following comment a lot: "For such a beautiful place, I'm surprised to see so much trash along the side of the roads."
Abby, I live in a nice little town in North Carolina and walk two miles in my neighborhood every day. After hearing that comment, I began carrying a trash bag with me to pick up the refuse people throw onto the side of the road. To my surprise, I find I'm picking up two large bags of trash a week -- and I live in a nice neighborhood. What kind of people do this?
My neighbor asked me why I pick up the trash as I walk. I told him that trash made our neighborhood ugly, and if someone didn't do it we'd be knee-high in trash. He was very surprised. Maybe people don't realize what they're doing when they toss their soda cans, candy wrappers, cigarettes and beer bottles out of their cars. I was taught as a child that this was the wrong thing to do. It looks like a lot of people weren't.
Please, parents and teachers: Teach your children that this is wrong, and maybe it will be the start of a cleaner America. I would also like to encourage other walkers to carry a bag and pick up trash as they walk. Also, bending is great for reducing the waistline. -- VICKY HURLEY, HICKORY, N.C.
DEAR VICKY: I'm pleased to promote your anti-litter crusade. Every state has littering laws. People should keep trash bags in their cars in which to dispose of trash, and teach their children that littering is wrong. Unfortunately, many individuals think they are the exception to the rule. There should be no exceptions!