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Hiker shares frustrating photo of litter ruining scene at beautiful waterfall: 'I don't understand how people do this'

"Why do people think this is okay?"

"Why do people think this is okay?"

Photo Credit: Reddit

It shouldn't have to be said, but littering is not OK. 

On r/trashy, a Redditor shared a photo of litter left behind at a stunning waterfall.

"Why do people think this is okay?"
Photo Credit: Reddit

"Human garbage leaves trash at an otherwise beautiful waterfall," they wrote.

The photo showed several empty Styrofoam cups, a water bottle, and a bag of snacks just feet from the beautiful landscape. 

It takes seconds to leave behind trash but hundreds of years for the trash to break down. The waste in this image — Styrofoam, straws and lids, plastic, and a food wrapper — will take anywhere from decades to centuries to disintegrate. 

Styrofoam cups take 500 years to break down, while plastic water bottles take around 450. Instead of decomposing completely, the foam and plastic turn into micro- and nano-plastic particles, releasing harmful chemicals and carcinogens into the environment. 

Littering isn't just careless — it's harmful to the environment, wildlife, and ourselves. It's important to leave these landscapes as pristine as we found them, if not better. When we litter, we harm the beauty of the area, the animals that call it home, and others' experiences.

Luckily, there are people and organizations dedicated to cleaning up the messes we've left behind. Whether you're volunteering with an organization for a mass beach clean-up or taking an hour to clean up your neighborhood, your effort makes a difference.

If you want to make an impact, The Cool Down can help. Check out our guides to changing the way you buy and use plastic and changing the way you get rid of your old stuff.

Commenters were disappointed and shocked by the trash.

"I don't understand how people do this," a baffled Redditor commented.

"Why do people think this is okay?" another user asked.

One user said: "I hate this so much! So many beautiful places are disrespected by stupid people like this! I won't even drop my cigarette butts."

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