by Dana Eldridge
(Boston, Mass. USA)
For 43 years I’ve been someone who never really finished the thought….when I throw something away it goes????
I’ve given myself a great gift this year; call it a field trip, if you like, but I took myself to my town’s landfill and had my eyes opened for the first time. Maybe the concept of someone reaching their 40s and still not being conscientious of recycling is one that sounds far-fetched, well, it’s the truth.
I didn’t grow up imagining the Earth covered in over-flowing landfills, piles and piles of garbage as high as the tallest building that was not my experience. But because the idea of leaving too much waste for the Earth to handle is a bitter reality today, I’ve begun to educate myself.
I guess I’ve always thought of using credit cards as not being realmoney, that’s the same way I viewed trash. I know I’ve read about landfills becoming, well, full and how that will cause a problem but until I took myself out to the site itself, I still had this childish idea that once I put something into the trash can, it just went…away!.
Seeing, with my own eyes, the area designated for my community’s left overs was like a big slap of reality. I was finally able to comprehend the thought; “if I’m not the only one throwing things away carelessly, and if others are doing it too, this space will not last too long.”
I was surprised at some of the items I saw at the town’s landfill, too. There were pieces of furniture that, being someone creative, I could see would make nice trash-to-treasures pieces.
Maybe these refurbished items could be the one piece that brought the feel of a room together, that completed what the room is to feel like and express. Instead, someone tossed them out and they were taking up (a whole lot) of space in a limited area and would cause stress, not happiness.
I’m fortunate because my children, who are early teens, have been taught about the importance of recycling and the importance of what we need to do to keep the world from being buried in useless trash. They have been paying attention to the lessons that have come their way, where as, I had to see it for myself before I could be motivated to change the way I do things.
The good news is, it only took one quick trip to the landfill, for me to come to my senses and make changes about the way I do things and about the way I think. If we are not thinking globally when it comes to waste, and what we’re leaving behind, we’re not being smart.
Grab some kids, or some forty-somethings and take yourself on a field trip that may very well, do for you what it did for me; make the changes necessary for me to see what the reality of our situation is and change the way I do things.
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