Sunday cartoon: Keep Rhode Island litter free


BURRILLVILLE – Keeping Rhode Island litter free is everyone’s responsibility.

Way too often, while I am driving on Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut roads and highways, I witness people tossing trash, food and cigarettes out of driver side and passenger windows. This is not only damaging to our environment, it can also directly harm wildlife animals and family pets that may come in contact with the trash.

With the hotter summer months ahead of us, it’s also extremely important that nobody discards cigarettes while driving down country roads and rural highways due to the potentially harmful results that can come from fires, which can severely damage our environmen,t and put wildlife animals in harm’s way, causing injuries and death. Another very important consideration is the potential loss of homes, businesses and properties, which can be consumed by these avoidable fire hazards. Keep in mind the potential harm and injuries that can happen to firefighters and first responders that have to rush to contain these fires. It’s not just about littering. It’s the ramifications and dangers that can be associated with tossing cigarettes out of vehicle windows.

Hotter temperatures and dryer days means higher risk levels for fires. This week’s Sunday feature is a reminder to not litter, and keep our environment cleaner and safer. Kids can color this cartoon in while talking to adults about the hazards related to littering. I would also like to remind adults about discarding lit cigarettes, but he smoking messages are not integrated into the coloring cartoon because kids and teenagers should not be smoking cigarettes in the first place.

Keep Rhode Island and New England litter free and safe from unintended fires this summer and throughout the year. Keep trash and cigarettes inside vehicles and discard in proper trash and recycling receptacles at your homes and apartments. There are also white areas within the coloring cartoon for kids to write how they can keep the environment litter free and draw animals that live in the wild or a family pet.

Please: Do not litter!

Jim Weicherding is a Burrillville resident, and the founder and creator of an award-winning traffic safety effort Seasons of Safety. Weicherding contributes kids’ coloring cartoons, which can be printed and used to help parents discuss safety issues with their children. He has a long list of police officers and firefighters in his family and has worked with law enforcement and firefighters in a creative public safety capacity for more than two decades

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