This morning, I took out five bags of trash, mostly recyclable items and it made me sick to think of the amount of waste each household actually produces. The packaging alone on any new purchase of any one thing is ridiculous. And we are a family that actually makes the effort to wash out bottles and plastic and put them in the blue bin instead of the black bin. We have friends who refuse to recycle and every time we're at their house I see cans and bottles in the trash and it makes me crazy. How can anyone not go a few extra steps to protect the environment and do their part? Honestly, think of others sometime. And what about that poor little trash boy that lives in the trash heap and plays with the trash that should be in the recycling plant. What if he cut his little trash collecting finger on that one beer bottle you refused to separate and put in the blue bin. What then?
I wish I could start a compost heap but being that we live in an apartment I do not feel like being that lady whose communal garden area is perceived as a latrine for stray cats and rabid hookers. I can just see a pile of orange peels and banana skins rotting away while the neighbors wonder if I've taken my blue pills lately and the crazy homeless woman who is always wearing a white fur coat and heels is rummaging through the pile looking for a great accessory to compliment her ruddy skin and jazzy pants. Maybe this is all coming out after the environmentally unfriendly holiday known as Christmas. The wrapping paper, holiday cards, boxes, tins of crap and tissue paper are enough to choke a landfill. And Hanukkah, you are not off the hook with your boxes of quick melting candles, blue and silver disposable dreidels and left over Geld that no one will eat.
There is no quick, easy answer to any of these concerns other than moving to a cabin built out of mud and beaver fur that is off the grid, in prime serial killer territory. Dave and I would have to eat whatever berries we would find while Otto would be forced to play with dangerous forest animals and wooden toys made by the local folksy Farmer Jim using an old whale bone and some toe nails clippings he'd saved from World War II. I could kiss goodbye my weekly Target trips and In 'N' Out Burger runs. The wax would be dead to me as would hair coloring, pedicures and Tupperware parties and The New York Times delivered daily.
We would dispense of any modern conveniences and really get back to nature. I would be that crunchy forest lady who ate only tree bark and small woodland creatures who were injured in one of my homemade traps. Dave could write his novel in smoke signals and I could publish it on the back of dried leaves for all to read. Otto would be miserable without any friends, packaged foods or his plastic, Little Tykes basketball net but learn to adapt and hate us just the same.
We can do this. I mean really, really do this! But first I must shower off the filth that this whole idea has covered me with. Then I need to get dressed in clothes made by small children, eat some food I did not forage or hunt for, watch some television, nap on a bed of cotton and then think good and hard about this plan. Maybe next year.