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Mayor speaks to students about litter

"Don't trash Troy!

Don't trash Troy!"

That chant was almost deafening after Mayor Jimmy Lunsford and Litter Man visited New Life Christian Academy Tuesday afternoon to talk about one of the mayor's biggest pet peeves.

Tuesday was Earth Day and the mayor and his friend took the opportunity to visit several Troy elementary schools to talk about litter and taking care of the earth's resources.

"I want you to be on my team," Lunsford said.

"Come be a part of my team."

He encouraged students not to litter and asked them to help keep an eye out for people who do.

If they see someone littering, he said, they should tell them the "mayor said you can't litter."

Lunsford said he likes to talk to students about environmental problems because changes are more likely to happen when children introduce them.

"Kids have an influence on their parents, especially when they get excited about something," he said.

"And that's what we try to do.

Get them excited."

The mayor said Troy's recycling program is successful largely because it was first introduced through the schools and the students took it home to their families.

Lunsford also talked about water conservation.

He explained how Troy got its water and taught the students how to conserve it.

"I want to know that when my grandchildren have grandchildren, (the water source) will be just as plentiful as it is today," he said.

He stressed that even if it was something small, when combined with other conservation efforts, it would make a difference.

"If each one of you shut off the water while you were brushing your teeth, turned it back on to rinse your toothbrush and your mouth, then shut it off again, you would save nine gallons of water," he told them.

He added that if everyone in Alabama did the same thing, they would save four million gallons.

"Just think of all the water that is wasted every time one person brushes his teeth," Lunsford added.

The mayor also encouraged students to save electricity and plant a tree.

As part of his presentation, he gave the students a small plastic litter bag to keep in their family's car and encouraged them to use it for trash instead of throwing the trash out the window.

He cautioned them that if a policeman saw them or their family littering, they would have to wear a bright colored vest that said "I littered on Troy" on the back and pick up trash along the highway.