The moral dilemma of garbage

Photo by pretty_close |

The time has come. 

The time has come for us to leave the shade. 

The time has come for us to face the betrayed. 

The time has come for us to open our eyes and perceive.

The time has come for us to open our eyes and breathe.

The time has come.

I think it’s about time for us to take a hard look at who we have become.  For example, I was waiting for the bus the other day, and I noticed that every single person that walked by a nearby trashcan, threw something out.  So, the wonder kid in me thought it would be a good idea to count how many people it took to fill up the can.  I saw the garbage can fill up in 12 minutes.  21 people had walked by. 

We all do it; we all produce garbage.   I do it.  You do it.  The most environmentally-conscious people do it.  It’s something that’s inevitable.  Unavoidable.  Completely Predictable.   So what do we do then?  There has to be something……….right?

It seems as though fast-growing populations and the rise of consumer culture has led to the massive amounts of trash we produce.  In fact, in 2004, each Canadian produced 418kg of residential waste.  418kg multiplied by 34.26 million people results in about 1.4x10^10 kg of garbage!  That’s approximately equal to the mass of 1. 25 billion NFL players! 

That’s a lot of trash for a country that’s supposed to be “low on the population end”.  Although this seems to be all bad news, there is a bronze lining:  households sent out 3.6 million tonnes of recycling in 2004, an increase of 65 per cent compared to 2000.  I guess that we should be commended for taking the time to unscrew water bottle caps and break down our pizza boxes. 

Regardless of our unprecedented efforts to be good humanitarians, there are still copious amounts of garbage that needs to be addressed.  So how about this for a proposition: how about for the upcoming coming week, we take our own coffee mugs to Tim Hortons?  That will probably get rid of half our consumption total.  Or if you’re like me and don’t participate in the activity of coffee-drinking, how about we take this week to reuse two things that throw in the recycling bin? 

I can hardly wait.

For that day.