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Hiker shares photo of frustrating scene at secluded waterfall: 'It's always been like that'

"I still have no idea why people think they have the right."

"I still have no idea why people think they have the right."

Photo Credit: Reddit

Doing the right thing shouldn't be hard when a beautiful view is at stake, but one hiker showed that even the most secluded places can fall victim to America's trash problem.

This outdoor enthusiast took to Reddit to share their disappointment after stumbling upon the trash from a picnic lunch at a Northern Virginia waterfall.

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"Scott Run is beautiful…except for the litter," they wrote, posting a photo of garbage: two plastic containers with food and utensils inside, two more plastic vessels, plastic packaging, plastic bags, wooden chopsticks, an aluminum can, and what looked like a biodegradable receptacle.

"I still have no idea why people think they have the right."
Photo Credit: Reddit

Scott's Run Nature Preserve features "one of the rarest biological ecosystems in the mid-Atlantic," with plants, wildflowers, and a hardwood forest thriving at the confluence of rocky cliffs and the Potomac River.

Unfortunately, it is infamous for a sewage stench and water that could be contaminated; swimming is illegal. It recently closed for the emergency cleaning and possible repair of two of three wastewater siphon pipes.

To discourage the defiling of such majestic natural settings, hikers and others can model respect for the environment and wildlife. It may not be easy in the face of callous disregard, but picking up others' trash is a task many people have taken on.

"I always have a trash bag in my pack," one commenter said in a discussion with another about the practice.

In other cases, employees have to do the work, such as this Redditor, who spent an hour cleaning out a tree after a motocross event at a park.

This is undoubtedly stressful for the people who are left holding the bag, and it can also be dangerous and even deadly for wildlife. A bear was euthanized in Colorado last year after it had ingested so much plastic that its organs could no longer function properly, and there are plenty of other animals that have been found dead with similar obstructions.

We're all responsible for conserving nature, and reducing our consumption of items that will end up in landfills is the best way to do so. Supporting plastic-free brands and holding corporations accountable for their environmentally harmful actions can also help.

"It's always been like that," one Redditor said of Scott's Run. "My friends and I will sometimes just bring a trash bag and pick stuff up as we hike. I still have no idea why people think they have the right."

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