Iím a sixth-grade student at the middle school and a couple of days ago my class was learning about Earthís environment.

As a result, I started thinking about my trip to Walmart the night before. On our way, we got close to Orschelnís and I started to look around. I noticed a lot of litter on the ground to the side of the road. Thereís no way this is good for the environment, I thought.

Later on that night, I did a little research. It turns out the litter not only isnít good for the environment, but itís destroying it! So then I thought about ways we could fix the problem, and then it hit me thereís only one way to fix this problem ... pick up the trash and keep it clean.

When too much trash and litter is left behind, it starts to pile up and stink. Once thereís enough stinky trash on the ground, visitors are going to think Ottawa is a nasty place. We donít want that.

I know some people might be wondering how long it takes for trash to decompose. Well, let me tell you, a long time. Styrofoam and glass alone take millions of year to decompose. Plastic 1,000 years and aluminum cans 80 to 200 years.

Some people might think thereís not a lot of trash on the ground, but there is. Go out and look. Youíll be able to see some. Itís everywhere.

In addition to that, they might also think trash doesnít take that long to decompose, but think about it. All of the material has to break down and that takes a long time. Plus the average person uses about 4.62 pounds of trash a day, so if even a small percent of that is on the ground, thatís not good.

So to help stop littering and to keep Ottawa clean, we need to pick up the trash while being aware of the harmful things littering can do to the environment.

ó Krys Johnson, Ottawa Middle School sixth grader