Gatherer of Trash
It seems that the older and more retired I get, the more time I have to pay attention to things that once escaped my notice. My current area of concentration is trash - not to be confused with garbage or food waste that can be composted and put back to productive use - but plain, ordinary trash.
I pay a company twenty-two dollars a month to stop by my house at the break of dawn every Monday morning and haul away my trash. Last week they didn't make it because of the freshly fallen snow, which means last week's trash is now sitting in my garage awaiting (hopefully) its liberation tomorrow.
It amazes me that one old fart, living as frugally as I do, can generate so much trash, so I have been studying what goes into my kitchen trash can. What I have learned is this: it is almost all packaging - cans, boxes, wrappers, cartons, bags, etc. If I didn't drag home so many groceries and other consumer goods, I would have darned little trash.
I saw an advertisement on television - back when I had television - about a new concept in toilet paper. It is rolled tightly and does not come on a cardboard roll. When the last sheet is gone, there is nothing left to throw away - nada! What a grand idea that is. Wouldn't it be great if more companies could figure out ways to eliminate packaging! It would save money for them, and money for us - and it would have to be better for the environment.
About twice a month I walk the perimeter of my property picking up trash along the road. I don't do it to get my name on one of those state signs advertising me as an ecological-minded community volunteer - I do it to keep my property from looking like the annex to the city dump. Each time I walk the roadway I manage to gather at least a feed sack full of refuse - other people's beer bottles, drink cups, pizza boxes, condoms, panty hose, and assorted treasures. (I also come across the odd beer can, but I am saving those to recycle - for my special vacation fund.)
I don't enjoy picking up other people's trash, and it really pisses me off that they consider my yard to be prime dumping ground. But what really and truly pisses me off even more than that are the damned Walmart bags. Those light, airy, completely non-biodegradable plastic bags blow across the landscape and land in some of the most difficult places to reach. They also have a penchant for getting stuck high up in the tree tops where they wave like flags representing cheap commercialism all winter long. I refer to these eyesores as "that damned Walton trash," and I am ever mindful that while I struggle to rein in all of those Walmart bags, none of those Waltons probably ever stoop to pick much up of anything - unless it is to keep someone else from getting it.
I think there ought to be a law regarding trash: if you generate it, you pick it up. Violators will be shot - or sentenced to do volunteer work at the local landfill.
And it won't matter who you are.