Sustainable Trash

Dear Garbage Collector:

I noticed you haven’t been coming to pick up my garbage as often as before. Is it the bad weather or all the talks of budget cuts are trickling down to garbage collection already?

Who says Americans are not productive anymore. Just look at the statistics, the average American produces four pounds of garbage a day, which is about one thousand four hundred and sixty pounds of wastes per person per year.  That makes us the number one trash producers in the world.

In this land of affluence, it seems unquestioned that we should be so profligate in our waste making. The American wasteful way is seen visibly displayed at every major holiday. We wrap, box, ribbon and decorate every trifle we give as a gift. This ritual of wrapping all things small and big, when did it start and why does it persist, I have wondered of late.

It is as if we hold this truth to be self-evident that all things worthy of having should be wrapped and packaged. But if we really believed in this truth, we must also entertain the corollary belief that once packaged things become disposable?

I welcome the philosophical debates about “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” or “are we what we own?” They make great arguments and certainly help us teach our kids all about what living the good life should look and feel like.

Last time I went to check my storage facility, I got worried, it looks like I am outgrowing my 10×10 space.  I am seriously considering taking that three months special for an upgrade.

I see my neighbor just got a new plasma television. Looks good. Hate to think I am the only one on the block with that dinosaur tube, maybe I should get one too. It’s not that I want to accumulate so much material goods, I do see myself as a discipline, even thrifty person. Benjamin Franklin is my favorite founding father. He had wisdom. Think he was the one who coined the saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned?”

Yeah. It’s great to live the American Dream. When you come next, can you remember to bring me another bin, I seem to have more garbage to throw away now that I am working from home.

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