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That Burns My Biscuits!

By E.J. Smith
Greetings Readers and fellow Appalachian Americans,
Do you love your grandchildren? If you are anything like me, you adore them and want to leave a legacy for them that will last forever. Your love is one. The other is leaving a world that is clean, beautiful and safe to live in. Are all of us doing this? Some, but not all and let me tell you, the ones of us who are, are getting sick of cleaning up after the rest of you who don’t! What will it take for those of you who do not care about grandchildren, the environment and our gorgeous area, one of the most beautiful in the United States, to take notice and do what is right? Just a tiny aside: The Great Smoky Mountains are older than the Rockies and is one of the rare rain forests in the country. We need to leave our wonderful mountains as beautiful as they are meant to be.
How do we do this? By caring! Caring about the above mentioned as well as being proud of our area when people from far away or even close by come to visit and enjoy the mountains of Upper East Tennessee. The real question is this: How does one make people care? It can’t be done. I will be happy to take these words back when I see a clean Carter County and surrounding areas. I see it this way: Not enough people care about anything but themselves in this day and age, so y’all have a great big job to prove that you do care.
What next? 1. Start by taking inventory of what you are doing or not doing to keep Carter County beautiful. 2. Don’t throw trash out the car window. 3. Pickup trash where you see it, even if it isn’t in your space. 3. Talk to your neighbors about working together to accomplish your goal of cleaning up your own neighborhood. 4. Report litterbugs and people who dump garbage in areas not specified as legal dumps. 5. Go to court when the offenders do, you are a witness. 6. Talk or write to your state and county officials about the problem, it is their job to listen to you and help you with things that need to be done in their jurisdictions. With an election coming up, find out how each one feels about our environment and what they plan to do about cleaning it up. 7. Never give up! It takes much effort to break one person’s bad habits. It will take a lot of time to get repeat litterers to change their ways. It may also take time to convince county/state officials to know you are not going to give up. 8. Be patient, but never stop talking to people and being a good example on how to keep your own yard and town clean.
Others are tired of cleaning up your messes and it seems it is the same people who show up each time to do the work that you have caused them to have to do. 9. Finally, the most annoying and dangerous habit of all and my pet peeve; keep your cigarette butts to yourself. You have read my former rants about this and should know how dangerous they are.
I agree with Mr. Ed Jordan of Keep Carter County Beautiful. Things have to change and if we need to offend someone to get motivated, then, let’s get started!
Those of you who do care, keep up the good work and have faith, we can do this!
You are in my prayers,
E.J.