Taking Out My Own Trash

We purchased recycled paper this year, no bows or frills–nope, I said, not in this family. I wanted a celebration that didn’t add to the nation’s landfills, but barreling home on 95, blinded by the sun, I had to admit what this road trip really meant: multiple trips to the petrol pump, piles of plastic cups, flexible fork lunches, and the unforgiving bulge of white trash bags, hauled down the stairs from our oceanfront condo. Holiday bloat. New Year’s Eve, a sad toast in dixie cups, and the eerie echo of broken champagne bottle glass. The cost of our celebrations to planet Earth, I don’t dare ask.

Shamefaced sun reveals

footprints in sand fade faster

than the carbon ones.

Since the start of the pandemic, waste has increased worldwide. The photograph accompanying my haibun was taken by Gregg Segal as part of his 7 Days of Garbage Challenge, which personalizes this problem by asking people to collect a week’s worth of refuse and then take a picture with it. This project raises awareness for the excessive amount of consumerism that is part of the daily culture of our generation. Be sure to check out more of his startling photography.


  1. As soon as the pandemic struck, there was an increased reliance on supermasrket deliveries.

    Where once, the trendy thing was for supermarkets to reject plastic bags, they reappeared again overnight.

    It was like the world had its attention focussed elsewhere, so going back to old, polluting ways didn’t matter. They are cynical bastards. None of them think any further than the next buck for their shareholders.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think the hard truth is that where there is a conflict between money and the environment, money cannot alweays win. Which means that we might have to pay more for things that are sourced responsibly. And how often do we see that?

        I’d agree with what you say except at the very end I’d add the words “just a little bit longer”. Because rthe rate might be up for grabs, but the final destination is a done deal.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s