There's been some discussion on CBC the last couple of mornings about a petition being circulated by some high school kids to ask the city of Ottawa to limit the amount of garbage permitted to be placed curbside to one bag of garbage per household per week. This kind of restriction is already in place in many municipalities, but Ottawa still has a weekly garbage free for all. If you put it at the curb and it fits in the truck, it will magically disappear.
I was astonished to hear people's responses to this story. Apparently, people are not ashamed to state their names and declare on public radio that reducing the amount of garbage they excrete is not possible. I would suggest that if you had to pay fifty bucks for every bag of garbage you put out, you'd find it was indeed possible to reduce the amount. You'd be composting, using cloth diapers, recycling, and demanding that retailers and manufacturers reduced the amount of packaging in their products. You might even think about only purchasing things that can be repaired rather than discarded when they inevitably break. Maybe you'd even, heaven forbid, just buy less stuff. My unscientific, but common sense observation is that there is a direct correlation with the stuff going in to the stuff going out. The folks who went on the radio declaring garbage reduction to be impossible actually meant inconvenient. Boo hoo.
So here's what I don't understand. Why is it easier for a politician to argue against a minimum wage increase, or ask people to give their lives in a military action that serves only political interests, or give millions, billions or trillions of tax dollars to corporations with zero accountability to the public than to ask people to pay attention to waste? I blame us for not demanding better. But who knows what unintended consequences would befall society if people paid attention to waste? And this is not a convenient time for me.