/ Leave No Trace+1

What To Do If You See Someone Throw Their Trash On The Ground

It’s safe to say that over 95% of FestivalGoers pick up after themselves. The problem is everyone else (5%) that leaves their trash on the ground…it adds up. Follow these steps and we can get the remaining 5% to to their part.

Step 1: Assess The Offense.
-Unintentional: If a person was sitting and then forgot to pick up a bottle as they were getting up, simply pick it up and throw it away for them. When they see you do this, you will have planted the seed.
-Intentional: If you see someone intentionally throw their trash on the ground, pick it up and continue to step two.

Step 2: Warning Shot.
Once you catch someone intentionally throwing their trash on the ground, pick it up and with a giant smile on your face hand it back to them, saying, “You dropped this.” Nine out of 10 times they will recognize the mistake and throw it in the trash. GREAT WORK!! This person will now think twice before they throw their trash on the ground again.
IF they don’t and give you some excuse about it ‘not being their job,’ continue to step three.

Step 3: Public Shaming.
At this point, the person has identified themselves as the .05% of the crowd that throws EVERYTHING they touch on the ground for everyone else to deal with. It’s time to challenge their belief that it is not their responsibility to clean up after themselves.
Take a step back and yell to everyone around you, ‘Hey EVERYBODY- this guy (or girl) doesn’t think they need to pick up after themselves. Is that okay?’ EVERYONE around you will yell “NO” to support you, and the litter bug will think twice the next time they want to throw their trash on the ground. At this point, it doesn’t matter what the person’s reaction is. Your point is made. Never get violent with anyone. You can say that your point is made and to enjoy their festival.

Learn how to become a contributing member of the festival community by reading The FestivalGoer's Guide and have your best festival every time you go.