There is No “Away”

with one comment

Not too long ago, one of our readers let us know about a philosophy she and her family have adopted that reduces waste and encourages them to be better stewards of the natural world. It’s the mindset is that there is no “away.”

Discarded materials of various sorts continuously leave our residences – in trash bags, through drains and pipes, etc – and go to destinations we often think of collectively as “away.” Too often we don’t conceptualize “away” as what it actually is, or what it could be: landfills, lakes, streams, creeks, drainage ditches, water treatment facilities, natural habitats, parks, junk yards, neighbors’ yards…etc.

When exposed, the true physical location of “away” (such as a landfill or a body of water) doesn’t seem so insignificant anymore. Ultimately, “away” could be anywhere, and what goes “away” doesn’t necessarily go far. Pollutants in the air, contaminants in streams, and garbage in the oceans illustrate that there’s no magical place called “away” where things go to become inconsequential. Whatever we discard is likely to linger back into our lives in some form, so it’s in our best interest to do away with the idea of “away!”

Written by jmalsky

January 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. This is a really important, philosophical shift people need to make in their lives. There is no “away.” I would also add there is no “they’re the next generation of leaders, they will solve the earth’s environmental problems.” There is too much buck-passing and not enough personal responsibility.

    – John Watson, Waste Diversion Education Coordinator, Halton Region
    BLOG; TWITTER @HaltonRecycles


    March 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: