Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
To carry her weekly column in your
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Online Since 1999
||My Can Runneth Over...
My Can Runneth Over
don't know where it all comes from, but it seems that I am carrying
out more trash lately than ever before. I don't think I've suddenly
started using more consumer products, at least not enough to account
for my growing trash collection.
A lot of it comes in the mail. I've found myself throwing away more
and more unopened mail even though I'm on every "do not
contact" list I can find. I get an annoying number of catalogs. I
think businesses could save consumers a lot of money if so much was
not spent on printing colorful advertisements.
Some of the trash is thrown in the driveway disguised as the local
newspaper. The paper is four pages long with a few articles and a lot
of ads. Then there are the enclosed circulars for grocery stores, drug
stores, fast food, or whatever. It's hard to believe they are still
actually calling it a newspaper.
The other thing ending up in the trash can is product packaging. A
sealed bottle is inside a cardboard box wrapped with cellophane. By
the time you finish peeling it, you wonder if there is anything inside
at all. Product tampering has caused some of the extra packaging. The
rest of it I don't understand.
The things that need more packaging seem not to have it. Take cookies,
for example. They come wrapped in thin cellophane, Once opened, the
package cannot be closed. Lately they have started putting a flimsy
sticky flap to reseal the package. Why don't cookies come in a Ziplock
bag so they do not get soft before they are eaten?
Other snacks are just as bad. Potato chips are impossible to get home
without being crushed and once open they cannot be closed. But kitty
litter comes in a sturdy plastic jug or a hard plastic bucket that is
used once and then goes to the landfill.
Some trash can be recycled. I save aluminum cans and donate them to a
charity that recycles them. Some plastic bottles can be recycled and
some paper, but around here you have to haul all the stuff yourself to
a recycling center. I have heard of cities that have curbside pickup
for recycled items. Where I live, you are lucky to get the trash
picked up at all.
So, I keep throwing it out and throwing it out, two large trash cans
per week, wondering where it all comes from. I feel guilty and
wasteful for polluting the environment, but not guilty enough to spend
half my weekend hauling it to a recycling center.
I read an article on uses for old newspapers, everything from lining
the hamster cage, to cleaning windows, to shredding it for mulch, to
rolling it up for fireplace logs. I wonder how much of the excess
trash is actually from old newspapers any more since a lot of news is
now delivered electronically.
I wish they could come up with a practical use for some of the other
stuff. Even if you reuse something like a plastic grocery bag, it ends
up in the trash can sooner or later. And some things are labeled
"do not reuse," like bottles of water.
Cardboard boxes have to be taken to the convenience center. I don't
know what they do with them there, recycle them I hope. I do not have
that many large boxes except when I am seduced by one of those
colorful catalogs and order something by mail.
No wonder landfills are so large and so full. Multiply my trash by the
population of the U.S. alone, and it is quite a problem, indeed.
I am quite certain that one day an archaeologist of the future will
dig up our remains and say, "Too bad about the people of the
twenty-first century. They were a thriving civilization until they
buried themselves in their own garbage and became extinct."
© Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss - All rights
Nashville, TN 37219
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