Wednesday, March 11, 2009


While washing my car this weekend, which is an admittedly wasteful American activity I do perhaps too often, I noticed a man sorting through the trash cans pulling out aluminum cans, plastic bottles and some other items. Not a homeless man or a seemingly needy man - just a man. Being the perhaps too friendly person that I am, I commended him for his recycling efforts and sparked up a conversation about trash versus treasure. He showed me a handful of bar codes from discarded cigarette boxes and said, "I mail these in a get $25 gift cards to all sorts of places. You'd never believe what sorta stuff I find in here."

Unfortunately the conversation then took a different and uncomfortable turn, and I have since vowed not to talk to strangers digging in trash cans anymore, but the whole event did make me pause and reflect on the "ewww gross" attitude so many people have about their own garbage and the irony that our country actually sells our waste. I know I've mentioned this many times before but doesn't it amaze you how quick we are to discard and replace? When is the last time you repaired anything?

Anywho, I just came across this article in the NY Times about the sagging recycling market and overabundance of garbage in China and can't refrain from doing something I try to avoid here on justsaying: preach. There is such an abundance of garbage out there... I'm not even suggesting that recycling is the answer anymore. I'm merely suggesting that you, my loyal JSers, family and friends, think twice before getting the latest macbook, no matter how green Apple claims it to be, and use reusable water bottles and shopping bags. Every little bit helps, folks.


Niko said...

I agree that the amount of trash we collect as a western society is a huge burden on the planet! I also agree you are to friendly with strangers lol, good post keep them coming!

Deborah said...

lol ;-)

Filatore said...

I'll admit it---I'm very curious to know what happened when the conversation "took a different and uncomfortable turn".

Deborah said...

hahah well... let's just say he wanted to share a lot of his "treasures" with me lol