Where is ‘Away’?

484219968_accdf67469_b Redwin Law[From the Archives…here’s one I originally posted in April 2009 (while living in London) in a now defunct blog.]

It’s not just about carbon footprints and global warming.

A friend recently reminded me that “there is no ‘away’”.  What gets “thrown away” into our bins goes somewhere, and sticks around for a long, long time.  And maybe, just maybe, it drips out, or breaks down into other chemicals, and gradually gets pulled down through cracks in the earth, into places like…our water supply…yum.

Not so long ago I was quite pleased by the fact that, on average, our weekly rubbish bag was really quite small – maybe even just a quarter full.  Not bad, I thought.  In Minnesota we typically put out a full (albeit a bit smaller, and less condensed) bag a week – and sometimes two.

But then I was reminded of Donnachadh McCarthy in an article in the Big Issue.  Barry and I visited his uber eco-friendly house last year during London Open House.  The Big Issue article states that “during the course of 2008 he threw away only half a dustbin full of rubbish.”  I guess I have some work to do!

Photo by Redwin Law.

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