My city is tossing around the idea of introducing a one bag of garbage per household bylaw. So, every week on garbage pick-up day, put out one bag. One. Un. I'm a fan of this, naturally. I'm all for recycling, composting, green carting, what have you. So I think it's fantastic that this could happen as early as March 2008.
Lots of people, though, aren't nearly as happy as I. They claim they can't possibly reduce down to one bag per week. I've read letters in the paper where large families - with small children in diapers - try hard to divert their waste, but insist they would not be able to stick to the one bag limit. While I do feel for them, I still maintain that it's a possibility that should be given some thought. We're a family of 4. Each week we put out (maybe) one and a half small grocery sized bags of trash. Some weeks we don't put out any. We don't use a bin or a green/black garbage bag, we have no need for that. So, I'm thinking, even a family of say 6 would probably go about a half a large bag or garbage bin. Family of 8? 10? You get the picture. It's doable.
Some opponents of the bylaw, while in favour of the reduction of trash worry that people will put their one bag on the curb - and 3 or 4 others in a ditch someplace. I was all "wha'?? People would do that??" Apparently they would. Or, they'd divvy up their trash amongst their neighbours. This I believe, we've had this happen to us before - all of a sudden there are 6 bags of garbage on my lawn? Huh? Pisses me off. So there would need to be some policing for sure, I'm really not sure city council has thought this through, but I'm happy there's some buzz about it and some debate happening.
The amount of waste we produce can be reduced. I know a lot of people blame manufacturers for packaging that is wasteful, and I totally get that. But so much of what is sent to landfill has to do with our society's addiction to consumption and overconsumption. Especially at this time of year when we're inundated with ads to buy buy buy! It's all a little sickmaking, and when you multiply our own urge to spend and buy by millions of others? It's almost obscene.
This is why I'm encouraging y'all to participate - or not participate? - in Buy Nothing Day. On Friday, November 23rd - the day after US Thanksgiving, and the absolute busiest shopping day of the year in North America - buy nothing. Think you can do it? I'm going to try. If you absolutely have to buy, at least be aware of Buy Nothing Day and be mindful of your purchases. So much of our shopping and buying time is spent zombie-like in malls and shopping centres, so think carefully, know where you're spending your money.
Anyone who decides to take part, please feel free to leave comments as to how you made out!
And yes, I realize I'm talking to maybe two people, but I do like to be optimistic.