So, this isn’t going to be the usual glamorous discussion we have on this blog (who am I trying to kid?), but garbage is something we can all relate to because we all make it.
Have you ever noticed how much of the stuff collects around your house in one day? It’s truly amazing. I live in a 23 ft. RV. Not much room for garbage, you’d think. However, what prompted this subject was a day last week when I found I had taken three grocery bags out in the morning and still had two more by the end of the day. That’s one person’s accumulation in one day in a tiny living space.
I was flabbergasted (old fashioned word just to keep you on your toes)! How was it possible? Then I sat down and took inventory. Everything I consume comes in packaging. Those items are put into a bag before I leave the store (I don’t do cloth bags because I need the bags to use for garbage – ironic isn’t it?). Then there are the parts of the vegetables I don’t eat, the stems of the fruit, the fat and bones from the steak, etc. On top of that are the items that just get worn out or are no longer usable but not in good enough shape to be passed on to Goodwill or some other likely charity.
I have a friend who holds on to garbage. She can’t let go of it. There are piles of old papers, plastic bags, empty cardboard boxes. Her refrigerator is full to the brim with food that cannot be eaten and her shelves with scraps of this and that. Every corner is overflowing. She’s a relatively young person, not one of the Depression era folks we normally think of as having this affliction. My friend is a hoarder and garbage is her treasure.
Then there are those who look on everything they no longer want as garbage, without considering that it might be useful to someone else. I passed by a house today that had put out its garbage cans for pick up in the morning, and right alongside them was a perfectly good armchair and lamp (at least that’s how they looked to me as I rode by on the way to someplace else).
Many, many years ago, my husband at the time and I raised pigs. We were both going to school and money was extremely tight – rare even. We regularly raided the local grocery store garbage bins for things we could feed our pigs. One lucky night, we loaded the back of our pickup truck with 50 gallons of milk and so many loaves of bread that one fell over the side of the truck on the way home. We had very happy hogs the next morning.
So, garbage is a matter of perspective I guess. However, one thing is extremely clear to me. We are a wasteful and negligent society. I wonder just how many people could feed and clothe themselves, and furnish their homes from the stuff we simply toss out every day?