Gopi was eating biscuits while Katch was feasting on fresh lettuce as they both sat under the tamarind tree at the edge of the woods. The Sun was getting hot, so Gopi got up and tossed the biscuit wrapper aside.
“Hey! What did you just do Gopi? You can’t toss that here.”
“Oops! I wasn’t thinking….sorry Katch.”
“You know young boy, people have been doing this for too long. I read about it in the news…it’s on TV too.”
Gopi picked the wrapper and put it in his bag. “Tell me more Katch,” he said, as he started pedaling home.
Katch began, “People who visit green spaces like these woods litter without a care, and it becomes too much to handle.”
Gopi listened attentively then asked, “But won’t the wind and rain take it away?”
“No… No,” said Katch. “That’s what people think but it doesn’t work like that. Packages made of plastic or thermocol cannot be destroyed easily. When animals come looking for food, they sometimes accidentally eat these things.”
“Oh no! So sad!”
“Yes! It’s very sad Gopi! I read about a bison that died because its stomach got blocked with plastic bags.”
Gopi felt sad and guilty too. He had been careless many times before, and so many people he knew had been careless sometime too. His friends at school, some bigger boys and girls, even some uncles and aunties were all part of causing a big danger to animals and the environment.
He was almost in tears as he stopped near a trashcan by the roadside. “I promise Katch … I’ll never throw wrappers away carelessly from now on, and I’ll tell everyone I come across not to do it either.”
Gopi did his customary high five and Katch doffed his cap in acknowledgement.