Friday, September 30, 2016
A Stubborn Footstool
I took this picture on July 22, and now, more than two months later, that footstool is still sitting out in front of this house. Or at least it was about a week ago, when Olga and I last walked past. Clearly the trash collectors have decided it doesn't fit their criteria for collection.
Yesterday may have been the quietest day I've ever had in the library. The high school students were still gone on their school trips, and the middle school kids must have been busy doing their own thing, because I sat at my desk and read. Only at the end of the day did it occur to me that I should have seized the opportunity to weed some of the fiction shelves. We have a lot of decrepit paperbacks -- two whole shelves of donated Tom Clancy books, for example, including some not even written by Clancy himself -- that never get checked out. They really need to go. Maybe I'll work on that today.
The book I'm reading, "Garbage Land," about the world's waste management problems, is enough to make me never want to buy another packaged item ever again. If even biodegradables never disintegrate in the dry, mummifying environment of a landfill, and plastics never break down beyond micron-sized pellets that persist in the environment forever, and the market for recycled glass and plastic is so weak that those items often get discarded -- well, it's enough to produce despair in an ecology-minded reader.
I need a happy book. Maybe Tom Clancy. NOT.
I walked home from work and popped in to Homebase, our big-box home supplies retailer, and bought two new bird feeders (one designed especially for goldfinches) and some mildew cleaner for the bathroom. (The bird feeders were blessedly devoid of packaging, but the cleaner comes in a plastic bottle.) I also bought Dave a new plant -- a type of grass with tufts like squirrel tails that he seemed to really like. But the minute I brought it inside he began sneezing and complaining of allergies, so now it's sitting outside. Which is where it belongs anyway.
Dave wanted to order take-away for dinner last night, and we did. But talk about waste! The bag and the plastic containers, and the plastic silverware and napkins and wooden chopsticks -- argh! I usually wash the containers and re-use them, but we already have a cabinet stuffed with them. It all makes me crazy.