Dump Site Musings
By Christine Dow
I have been thinking about an article by Martin Mittelstaedt that appeared in the Globe and Mail on Saturday, December 16th, 2006 entitled “Earth’s cleanest water creates thorny issue.” The sub-title, “In Tiny Township a precious resource faces threat from proposed garbage dump” generated emotional responses for me. I felt shock, fear, distress, and helplessness.
The article explained that the water in Tiny Township that was tested was as clean as water taken from the bottom of Arctic ice cores from snows deposited thousands of years ago before high-polluting industries existed…..The province has just approved placing a garbage dump on top of it.
I contend the following:
I can continue to be afraid, or I can choose to see this problem as a situation, change my emotional responses to it, and make changes in my actions. Those changes will affect Tiny Township now, and in the future, and the lives of my children and grandchildren.
I have the power to influence garbage!
First I can look carefully at what I am putting in the blue box and in the garbage bags that fill our “raccoon-proof” (not!) garbage boxes at the entrance to our lane.
Notes to self:
• Make my own spaghetti sauce, soups, and prepared foods from bulk produce and locally grown stuff from the roadside farmers selling unpackaged foods. Take my own bags.
• Buy cold drinks in big containers and make individual kid’s servings, specific to each child’s needs. Mark nalgene bottles with the childrens’ names and put them on the fridge shelf. These can go to the beach in a cooler. I could use each child’s favorite colour to make it more attractive.
Notes to self:
• Use newspapers for crafts.
• Reuse fine papers that have printing on one side only.
• Buy products that have the least amount of paper packaging.
• Get books from the library, buying only those that I want to keep.
• Trade books with my neighbours.
• Recycle books and magazines by taking them to the hospital waiting rooms, or to second hand booksellers.
Notes to self:
• Buy bakery items from where they use paper bags, not blister packs or tin foil pans.
• Bake with the children using great-grandmother’s equipment.
• Talk about reusing and reducing garbage while we bake.
• Involve the children in initiatives to see how little garbage we can generate.
• Count the green garbage bags we fill each week and keep a chart on the fridge door. Give ourselves stars each time we lower the number.
• Have a contest to see how long we can use one blue box before it is full. Have a reward.
• Compete with the neighbours for a prize.
• Consult local authorities to find out what I can do at my cottage to reduce garbage. As questions e.g. could egg cartons be reused if we return them to local farmers?
• Take the children with me.
• Implement a “no garbage” philosophy at the cottage.
• Involve our renters too. We don’t have to rent to you if you are going to fill our dumpsite up with your garbage!
Ok! I feel better now. I’m not sure how garbage will be handled in Tiny Township but this long-time summer resident has taken on the issue with a vengeance!
I will make a difference!