Didn’t Clean Up? You’ve Littered!

Let’s keep KKL-JNF forests clean on Passover, too!

A trip to a KKL-JNF forest or park, especially after a weekend or a holiday, is a frustrating experience. Visitors to the woodland arrive at a sparkling clean picnic spot amid well-tended surroundings – and then, after they’ve enjoyed its amenities, they leave their rubbish behind: scraps of food, crumpled cans that once held preserves, empty plastic bottles, and plastic bags that flutter in the wind. This distressing sight is not the outcome of a natural disaster beyond human control: KKL-JNF foresters and other workers are dismayed anew each time to discover that it is merely the aftermath of the general public’s enjoyment of the forest.

Whom does the forest belong to?

KKL-JNF, as the organization responsible for Israel’s forests, plants and tends these woodlands with professionalism and great devotion, for the benefit of the general public, the environment of today, and the environment of generations to come. The organization is well aware that fostering the bond between trees and humankind is a vital ecological and social objective. But the forest does not belong to KKL-JNF, but to each and every one of us.

Filthy surroundings are more than just an eyesore – they are an indication of a deeper problem. Litter impinges upon many areas of our lives: it is evidence of a lack of belonging, of neglect, of uncaringness. Research in many different parts of the world has shown that uncared-for surroundings instill a lack of confidence and promote violence. Those who litter the forest cannot do so with a clear conscience.

10 Reasons not to leave litter in the forest

  • Spending time amid piles of litter is unpleasant.

  • After a number of hours, uncollected rubbish starts to smell bad.

  • The wind scatters litter in all directions.

  • Animals that live in the woodland become dependent on processed food, and their existence as wild creatures is compromised.

  • When they eat the leftover food, animals swallow packaging that is harmful to them and may even kill them.

  • Rubbish often contains toxins, which are absorbed into the soil and pollute the groundwater.

  • Disposable dishes disintegrate into particles that eventually make their way into the respiratory systems of human beings and animals alike.

  • Organic waste encourages uncontrolled proliferation of pests and disease-causing organisms.

  • Rubbish helps invasive plants and animals to gain a foothold.

  • Rubbish promotes forest fires.

  • Foresters are obliged to approach visitors to forests and parks and ask them to pick up their litter.

KKL-JNF outdoor staff members perform their tasks out of a love for the environment and a desire to maintain a pleasant quality of life in Israel.

The knowledge that the country’s woodlands and parks constitute a green oasis that the public can enjoy all year round – and on holidays and weekends in particular – is both our motive and our reward. The woodlands belong to us all. Please leave them clean when you have finished enjoying them, and help us to continue caring for them.