Some things are worth doing!

(Posts have been few and far between for me these past few months due to the increased demands on my time from classes. Now, summer is here and I hope to let some of my other creative juices flow.)

Did you have a chance to watch the movie “Wall-E” when it came out, or maybe since then? Do you remember the basic premise: the little robot, all by itself, doing what it could to clean up a planet’s worth of garbage left behind by a wasteful humanity? I was recently put in mind of that by something I did.

What I did was a recent trip I took to Rockford. To get there, I had to drive up Interstate 39, one of the major north-south roads in the state of Illinois. On both my drive there and the drive back, I was struck by something: garbage, lots of it. It was almost as though there was not on instance where I could look out the window of my car and not see something in the roadside trees, or adorning the fence line. Most of it was plastics, anything from shopping bags to left-over pieces of plastic sheeting. And it’s not like this stretch of road runs through large towns, or near any really big landfills either. No, this is out in the country, about as far from people as you can get and be on such a road. Nor is it the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this. So how does all this garbage get there?

Is it because, in an effort to cut spending, this state (and, no doubt, many others) is cutting it’s spending on such “non-essential” things as roadside clean up? Are we, as a society, becoming more callous about caring for the world we live in? Is it a case of us simply having so many plastic items, and so many other things for that matter, that we simply use once and forget about, that the sheer volume is beginning to overwhelm our ability to deal with it?

Many cities have recycling programs, and these are, at least in my opinion, good things to have. But would it not make more sense to use fewer things that are intended for a single use? Would it also not be better to make those things that we do need to make for single use more easily broken down if they do end up not being disposed of properly? Would it not be a good idea to keep reminding people that we, all of us, are responsible for keeping this planet we live on a place that we actually WANT to live on?

Maybe it’s time we pulled those old public service commercials out, the ones that reminded us not to pollute, to always take care and always dispose of our trash properly, and give them a bit of an update. Some might decry such spending as a “waste of the taxpayer’s hard-earned money”. My response? Horse shit! People talk about not passing on a nation to the next generation that’s in debt, but if the nation they inherit is a place that’s unfit to live in, what have they gained? Some things you just pay for, knowing that the cost is worth it. Having a place to live that’s not a single massive garbage dump, now that’s priceless.

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