May 20, 2013

Plastic Coke bottle in leaves

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The “intentionality” of what we do with our trash is an issue that has been discussed in previous posts, however, the role that such purpose plays in the disposition of trash crystallized in my mind early this morning.

Plastic products floating in water

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It often appears that trash is indiscriminately tossed, dropped, or left on the ground without so much as a passing thought.  Folks have habituated to the practice so that this being a problem is apparently not even considered.  As an aside, I have heard folks say that they did not want the trash piling up in their cars and/or did not want to take the time to find a trash or recycling bin, therefore it is left wherever convenient, which is usually on the ground.  Were this the case, it can be argued that this is an intentional act.  Once let go of, gravity takes over and the object lays where it falls until it is scooped up by others or is blown or washed into a waterway.  Hence the problem.

Empty bottle stuffed in space under a shed.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

However, on occasion, trash winds up in places that indicate a degree of deliberate, thoughtful placement, which seems beyond the usual “What do I do with this now?” dilemma. How else would this bottle have gotten here?  After all, this is under a shed next to a walkway and tucked into a relatively small space.  One would have had to bend or crouch down to make such a placement, which is evidence pointing to intent.  Some thought appeared to go into this one.

Plastic bags in trash can-one asking for recycling

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It is worth thinking about our thinking with regard to how and what we throw away.  The amount of trash that ends up in landfills and waterways is absolutely something over which the human race has control.  In fact, this is one of the few global issues where individuals actually can make a difference without waiting for governmental action.  More to the point, if individuals took care of this problem, then the government would not need to.  It does require a modification of thought and behaviour as both of these patterns, thinking and acting, once established, are very difficult to change.  The New York Times had a piece related to these points and a few suggestions for change-please see here.

In addition, please look carefully at the photograph above-perhaps reading the trash would make a difference.

Take care.


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