Friday, January 6, 2012

All about Trash, with a capital 'T'

Some people 'Dance[ing] with Stars', while I Walk with Maniacs. Walking with Maniacs describes my exercise regime with my two canine walking partners. The magnitude of the unbridled enthusiasm that they bring to the activity can almost be too much for me to handle, thus the designation of 'Maniacs'. 

While we are out walking, we (I) endeavor to pick up the trash that is ever-present on whatever walk route we choose. Today, having set out on a walk, I began to pick up the ubiquitous trash, while noticing that the trash I picked up two days ago, had been replaced with a new supply. It is my practice to not stray into anyone's yard (personal space), or the blackberry bushes that line much of the walk routes we frequent, which prevents me doing a thorough and comprehensive clean up. Today, I was unable to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of accumulated garbage. Why is it that we have so little regard for our surroundings that we cannot take the most minimal time and effort needed to appropriately dispose of wrappers, cans/bottles, papers, etc. while waiting for the bus, walking to the mail box, or even in our own yards? 

Another major source of ecological fouling is the accumulation of old vehicles, such as cars, boats, campers, and trucks. This practice of abandonment not only represents eye sores, but also facilitates the leaching of heavy metals into the surrounding soil and ground water over time, amongst other toxicity opportunities. I know of one yard in particular (we all know, or may be, an offender) where a car was parked in the driveway very nearly 30 years ago, and has not been moved since. Old and disintegrating vehicles are everywhere, despite the pleas from charities to facilitate their removal. How hard can it be? It just takes a phone call, or maybe not even that if you are ever logged onto the Internet. 

What to do? Everyone, pick up the trash in your own yard/domestic space, and take the initiative to pick up trash that presents itself on your way to the car, to the garbage can, to the bus stop, to name a few mitigating opportunities. Recycle what you pick up, so that it can be processed to be used again. Build awareness in your social circle to help others become trash collectors too. 

To me, it is very disheartening to allow the awareness of garbage accumulation everywhere, various yards, sidewalks, ditches, storm drains, and blackberry bushes to name a representative sample, to seep into my consciousness. This is where humor or at least silliness can take the edge off the overwhelming nature of the sheer quantity of trash needing to be picked up and disposed of appropriately. My choice of silliness for this situation is to recall "The Cat In The Hat" (Dr. Suess) wherein: "this mess is so big, and so deep, and so tall, we can not pick it up, there is no way at all.", and when the Cat came back in with his clean-up machine saying "I always pick up all my playthings, and so, I will show you another good trick that I know!". The Cat's machinery featured four hands set about the pick up. 

The take-home message is that many hands make short work of a big job. Let's clean it up! 

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