Letter: Waste, like cancer, spreads

Tuesday, March 7 2017

As a relatively new arrival on Gabriola, I have long looked forward to my retirement here, and a new place to call home. Gabriola affords a place to call home for those who wish to take a different course than living in the crowded urban jungle. I came to Gabriola for the island lifestyle, the bucolic nature, a place where life can move at a slower pace. I assume that most Gabriolans are here for similar reasons.

Unfortunately, I’m mystified and perplexed by the fact that some of us, as well as our visitors, seem to treat the God-given beauty of our island with outright contempt.

Take a walk along our roads, observe the curb at the ferry lineup - there is litter everywhere. I have seen beer cans, pop cans, cigarettes stubs, cigarette packages, junk food packages, plastic cups, plastic straws and plastic bags that have been thrown from car windows.

I have seen household waste hidden amongst trees near roads. I have seen dog waste on the sand at Twin Beaches. For heaven’s sake pick it up, whoever you are. These are places where children play and enjoy our natural spaces. And let’s not forget the effects of this refuse on the natural flora and fauna. What is going on here?

I may be in error here, but there appears to be a lack of public trash receptacles on Gabriola, particularly at Brickyard Beach and other popular tourist attractions. While we islanders live here removed from many of the horrors of the world (thank goodness), we should all be thoughtful about the kind of community in which we want to live.

I would certainly encourage everyone to take part in the ratepayers annual spring cleanup, as well as the shoreline cleanups when they happen. Everyone making a contribution would make a big difference.

If I can see this trash so can others, including our visitors. Where do we want to go with this? Do we want to be known as the Island of the Arts or Island of the Trash? Have we brought the bad habits of the city with us? It would appear so.

Signed in perplexion,

~ Gerald Larson