Yesterday, I went with my brother to the Pigeon Lake Dump or whatever it is called nowadays. It was a terrible experience and one which really had an impact on my soul, consciousness or whatever you want to call your inner being. While I can appreciate the fact that the dump site is well maintained, organized, quite clean and tidy, it nonetheless presents a mirror into which I did not want to look, a mirror on my life, a commentary on our society.
Thankfully, we didn’t have much to dump; some renovation waste (drywall etc) and some household garbage. Nevertheless, the simple action of emptying the trailer into a bin, our garbage just adding to the mountain of refuse in the distance, was a painful experience. I haven’t been to the dump in years and with my knowledge of alternate energy and consumption growing slowly (painfully so!), the effect of my visit on my psyche was substantially greater than during previous visits.
I wandered over to the metal bin and saw a perfectly useful bed frame lying next to a well used outboard engine. I know this metal will be recycled but that isn’t really the point. Producing the metal in the first place took massive amounts of energy; recycling will require more. Whilst Tim emptied most of the junk, I took mental stock of the constant parade of vehicles crossing the scales, ready to dump more and more and more…it never stopped and this is the Comox Valley – what must it be like in a city of millions?
I’m not trying to preach and I know I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to consumption, recycling and monitoring my usage patterns. It was a good reminder for me, however, to continue to bolster my efforts to educate myself and reduce my footprint as best I can. I encourage you to do the same.