Friday, August 21, 2009

friday foto: trash talking

I took this photo a few weeks ago when the notorious Toronto garbage strike was in full swing. Those of you who are Torontonians need not be reminded, and those of you who aren't probably knew enough about it since Toronto tends to monopolize national news. Especially when there are headlines like "TORONTO STINKS...LITERALLY" just begging to be born.

Clicking on the photograph will give you a larger view of the tag written on the brick wall, which reads: "Who watches the garbage men?"

Both the city and the strikers were stuck in a 36-day stalemate while the rest of us argued, ranted, and blogged about whether the city workers had chosen the worst possible time to ask for more benefits and pay increases, during a GLOBAL RECESSION, or the best possible time since the hot summer weather always seems to hurry things along. Especially when it comes to garbage pick up. Especially when the Pope is coming, circa 2002.

I was amazed at the sheer VOLUME of garbage that accumulated in temporary dump sites around the city in a very short amount of time. Most sites remained open for a few weeks at a time, then were closed because THEY WERE AT MAXIMUM CAPACITY, and new sites would be opened in another part of the city. It was odd to see all those black plastic bags, piled one on top of the other, until the mountain reached 10 feet in height. Those black plastic bags that are usually set out on the sidewalk in front of a house, one or two at a time, I mean, what is one or two bags? to be taken away by city workers and delivered...to a magical place where garbage goes. Which, for now, is called Michigan.

The motto "Who is watching the garbage men?" should, in my opinion, read: "Who is watching the garbage men?" because we only need the workers if they're necessary in taking away OUR CRAP. Take a moment and think: how many black garbage bags am I responsible for in a two-week time span? Now, multiply that by the number of garbage pick ups in a year, and multiply that by your age. Or, the number of average years a person lives for. THAT'S A LOT OF GARBAGE. Multiplied by 2.5 million Torontonians.

This video is an excellent (and fun) place to start if you're looking to educate yourself about waste and how to help lessen yours. And here are 10 ways that you can get started right away. (Thanks to Mark & Beth for introducing me to it!)

I'm reminded of Aldous Huxley's ominous prophecy in Brave New World: a dystopia where the mantra "ending is better than mending" promotes a mindset bent on the disposable. I'm not as "green" as I'd like to be, or, perhaps, should be, but I'm starting. Care to join me?

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth."

God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God's nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."

Then God said, "I've given you every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth and every kind of fruit-bearing tree, given them to you for food. To all animals and all birds, everything that moves and breathes, I give whatever grows out of the ground for food."

And there it was.

God looked over everything he had made;
it was so good, so very good!

(Genesis 1:26-31, The Message)

2 comments:

Ashli said...

You should check out http://freecycle.org/

I found it through a YWAM friend of mine from Australia.

The goal is to utilize the network instead of throwing things out or buying new things.
It's pretty extensive.

Sarah Aubrey said...

Thanks, Ashli!