There is not an “away”

This morning I pulled my trash bin to the street, I was struck with just how heavy the trash bin was this week. I think that I am getting weak or my family is generating more trash than it has last week.

Trash is an odd concept. We have things that we can no longer use so we throw them into a indoor waste bin, then when the bin is filled we place them into an outdoor bin and on Tuesday a trash truck swings by and empties my outdoor bin. The trash truck takes the trash away but there really isn’t an away is there? No not really away is a journey usually to a dump site where the trash is burnt or buried.

The concept for hell in the Old testament and Torah has roots in burning of a communities trash. The Greek work Gehenna refers to the valley of the son Himmon where trash and dead bodies were burnt. Many soldiers and veterans of the US army are getting sick and dying from living near trash burring pits. Burning our trash pollutes our environment and makes our bodies ill. When trash is burnt it is not destroyed the matter simply changes form to something poisonous.

Buried trash changes it form underground through decay and over time. The changed matter then makes it way to the communities water table and poison’s the community. The matter that does not escape the soil into the water table becomes dangerous gasses and poisons our air.

Nothing is every destroyed it just changes shape, this is the first law of thermodynamics. We are not throwing anything away when we put something into the trash.

When I was a kid I was taught that I should not litter. All trash should be put into trash cans. This lesson well good intentioned helped create a disposable consumable and dangerous culture. The idea of away made waste something that was ok and manageable through just putting something into a bin and then putting that bin on the street, this is wrong. Waste is not ok.

Starting tomorrow you will see a number on all my blog post titles. This number will be the weight of my families trash. The average U.S. American family produces 18 lbs of trash a day. I will try my best to be under the 18 lb goal. For every lb over I will donate 2 dollars to the sierra club. My donation will hopefully be small and in addition to the charities the family already supports on a regular basis.

I encourage everyone to add the sierra club to their households monthly donations. It is a great organization fighting for climate change. Here is a link for donations to that group.

We are all on this earth together and nothing we make or do goes away ever so lets make sure we make and do things that are good and not poison.

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