A Dirty Story
It’s my last week before I graduate, classes are over and finals are done. So all that’s left to do is to hang out with my friends and, of course, have adventures.
On Sunday, Joanne, Jessica, and I wanted to go see the new Star Trek movie. Well, to be perfectly honest, Joanne and I wanted to see the new Star Trek movie, Jessica just wanted to see a movie. The movie was, for those who are wondering, very good. And Jessica has said it was enjoyable even for those who haven’t seen Star Trek before. But even a simple thing like going to a movie can become an adventure when the three of us are involved.
The walk out to Jessica’s car required us to walk past the dumpsters that had been set up for all the students who were moving out. The dumpsters were all overflowing, and there were stacks of garbage bags and just plain stuff on the ground nearby. I’m not sure who said what, or who said it first, but we were soon all making innocent observations about all the things being thrown away.
“I can’t believe all the things here. So much is still perfectly fine.”
“I know. It makes me mad that people just throw stuff away.”
“Even if they didn’t have room in their cars to take everything home, they could have taken it to Goodwill.”
I honestly can’t say if anyone ever made an actual suggestion, but the more we discussed all the reusable things that had been thrown out, the more it became clear that we were planning to do something about it. So we got in Jessica’s car, and drove it over to a dumpster, and started…let’s call it salvaging.
We never actually went dumpster diving, since none of us got into the dumpsters, but we went through all the bags on the ground, and everything we could reach on top of the dumpsters.
A list of some of things we found:
2 golf clubs
Several pairs of shoes
A Shelving unit
Multiple of garbage cans
2 reusable grocery bags (whose purpose is entirely defeated by being thrown away)
2 perfectly fine umbrellas
Several 3-ring binders
A laundry hamper
Dishes and cutlery
And that’s not even to mention how much of the “garbage” was actually recyclable.
We rescued what we could, loaded up Jessica’s car, and drove it all to Goodwill.
Tired, hot, and smelly, we return to the dorms, cleaned up, and then rewarded ourselves by returning to our original plan and going to the movie.
Before I finish this blog, however, I’m going to take advantage of my voluntarily captive audience (that would be you, dear reader) and get on my soapbox for a moment. What my friends and I saw on Sunday was the result of a wasteful consumer culture. People bought things they didn’t intend to use for more than a few months, and then threw it away afterwards, without even making it possible for other people to reuse them. There is no excuse. Even if you’re too lazy to drive to a Goodwill or Salvation Army drop-off, you can call their pick-up services. The three ‘R’s are Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, and they go in that order. First, reduce how much waste you create. Second, before you get rid of something, find a way to reuse it. Lastly, recycle. We saw a lot of waste the other day, and the majority of it was easily reusable or recyclable. Instead, it will end up in a landfill. We only have one planet. Let’s take care of it. It really isn’t that hard to do.