Monday, March 31, 2008

Trashing the world

I got a call from a local man last week who was beside himself with anger over the litter he’s been finding in the forests around Sisters.

I can relate. There’s something about finding trash strewn around our woods that sparks a visceral rage in me. It feels like a desecration. It is a desecration. We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. What kind of person willfully trashes it up?

Last week I pulled into Tollgate on my way to feed our horse. There in the turnout just off Highway 20 was a pile of cups and McDonald’s wrappers. Somebody had clearly sat in their car, ate their lunch, then dumped their trash out the window.
My anger was out of all proportion to the crime, fueled by disgust at a mentality so self-absorbed. Then I saw all the figurative fingers pointing back at me. I don’t throw my trash out the car window, but I’m not exactly simon-pure.

Littering is only the most visually evident form of trashing the planet. We all do it. Most everybody buys water in plastic bottles that either end up in landfills or take energy and effort to recycle. Almost every American consumes at a huge rate — and I am no different. It’s embarrassing to think how much trash my family of three generates.

It makes me mad to see litter in our woods. Always will. But I am resolved to stop shaking my finger at everybody else and stop making so much trash myself. It’s hard to climb down off the high horse and set aside the self-righteous anger, but I can’t stand to be the pot that calls the kettle black.

Jim Cornelius, Editor

1 comment:

  1. A good start is to use the canvas bags for your groceries. They are available at Harvest Basket and Ray's. Ray's even pays you a nickel each time you use a canvas bag, regardless of where you purchased it.