The following is a guest post from Fake Plastic Fish reader Sunny Yukon. All I can say is that I wish I were this funny!
Coincidentally I was listening to this song by The Proclaimers yesterday.
By the end of the day I fell down at my door. I was exhausted!
I helped my son with a fundraising activity his scout troup was doing yesterday evening. Roadside clean-up. We were assigned a 3+ kilometre stretch of highway, given orange vests and garbage bags, and told it should be about three hours of work for our group to earn $500. And off we went!
Three hours later, we were a little over 1/2 done. The full-sized pickup we had was filled with bags of trash. The leader said it was the most trash he’d ever seen doing this fundraiser.
a bike with a trashed seat.
fast food wrappers
plastic lids from paper cups
Broken windshield glass from at least two different accidents, amongst several other plastic car parts
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
I do want to say though:
Mr. X: I found page two of your tax assessment form. I know your full name, address, birth date, and SIN (SSN). It wouldn’t take much effort for me to assume your identity and wreak havoc to your credit report. Lucky for you, I’m not like that. But we never found page one…
XYZ Auto Parts: I haven’t seen your delivery truck with the lit-up plastic yellow ball cap decorating the roof of the cab roaring past my workplace lately. Now I know why – apparently your driver rolled it sometime this winter. I picked up the pieces of that plastic ball cap. And your product catalog. And some bumper, and headlights, and windshield glass. I guess being an auto parts store you knew you could get it all replaced and had no need to clean up after yourself.
And finally, to the guy walking around without your ginch… seriously, you had to remove your undies and toss them in the tree? Oh, wait, you were the driver of the auto parts delivery truck? Wet your pants and didn’t want to be embarrassed when you were picked up huh. Oh, well, that’s sooo okay then.
Pardon me, I didn’t mean to drool my sarcasm on your monitor.
The clean up is done, and a little stretch of the highway that I go by daily is a little greener. More importantly, my resolve to continue reducing and eliminating my plastic is stronger. In my little corner of the world I am finding it to be a huge challenge, but everyday I’m doing something different.
Even more importantly, there is a group of 11-14 year olds who also got quite an impression of the waste in our area. There were several comments of disgust coming from all of them. Who knew an 11 year old boy could get disgusted? I didn’t; I still live with a daily barrage of burps and farts!
So, I didn’t walk 500 miles yesterday, but I got a start. This weekend I’m joining the same scout troop for an overnight hike. We practice “Leave-no-trace” camping. At my side will be another garbage bag. You never know where you’ll find more trash, even if it feels like you’re out in the middle of the nowhere.
What about you? Why not grab a small bag and just make a five minute stop on the roadside. Every little bit helps! Teach your kids that just like at home, we can all pitch in to help tidy. Many hands make light work!
I think if we all took a few extra steps, it wouldn’t be long for that 500 miles to add up.
Sunny lives in Northern Canada where she and her husband raise two boys and try to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. She runs a retail lumber yard where you can find her doing everything from the bookkeeping, forklift operating, equipment maintenance, to scrubbing the toilet. You name it; it’s probably on her to do list. Trying to lead by example, at home she has greatly reduced her plastic and cleaning chemical consumption and is enjoying the benefits of less recycling and trash to have to haul away. At work she has reduced and reused many items while still maintaining a professional polish that many customers have shown appreciation for. With so many items being shipped north from other climates, plastic is very prevalent because it reduces the packaging weight. Costs for recycling any materials are also much greater. She has found plastic reduction to be very daunting but is babystepping her way through the challenge.