The recent episode of Mad Men (a show set in the early 1960s) has a family having a picnic (episode discussion here). One of the great things about this show is that they hit you with societal norms that are very different than today - pregnant women smoking/drinking, men in the office being very sexual towards the female secretaries, etc. etc. In this particular episode, at the end of the picnic, the man stands up and throws his beer can off into the woods. The woman, while gathering up the picnic gear, takes the blanket they’d been sitting on and gives it a shake, leaving all the disposables (napkins, etc) on the ground in the park.
Mr. Athena, who was born in the 50s, said that would have NEVER happened in his family. He clearly remembers his Dad getting on him for littering.
So, all you people old enough to have been first-person in the 60s, how accurate was that? I’m too young for the 60s, but I remember the early 70s, and the “throw the beer can into the woods” didn’t seem so far off to me, but leaving piles of dirty napkins and paper plates in the middle of the park didn’t strike a true cord. In other words, I remember littering being OK as long as nobody saw it.