Seven million pounds … 3,500 tons. That’s a sobering number, and more sobering when it’s applied to the amount of roadside litter collected so far this year in North Carolina.

Beyond that statistic, two things should jump out at us. One, it’s only June. And two, that’s only the amount of roadside litter that’s been collected. Anybody else see any uncollected litter on their drive in this morning?

Of course you did. But now, the big question. Did you contribute to it?

That answer is not so clear cut. Did you secure your load before driving? Did you clear your truck bed? Did you keep a trash bag in your car for throwing out garbage at a time it can be disposed of properly? Did you recycle whenever possible?

Accidental or otherwise, most of us at some time can fall in with the solemn news that North Carolina’s mountains, valleys and shores are not as pristine as they could be. And that it’s our fault.

That, indeed, is a sobering thought.

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