It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Does this bother you, too?

Today is garbage day in our neighbourhood. It’s also a beee-youtiful fall day, so the tots and I went for a long walk just to soak up the warm golden sun and breathe in that soft fall air.

And kick leaves!

On our travels, we collected a lovely, sturdy ride-on toy. It was even clean! We saw a beautiful Perego high chair, which, had it not been quite so heavy, might also have found its way into my stroller. Somehow. There were also a couple of shelves, not in such pristine shape as the baby equipment, but good for a garage or a workshop. And a box of stonewear – I didn’t take a close look, but I’ll bet there were four place settings in there.

This makes me sad. The waste! This is perfectly usable stuff, and because the family in question doesn’t want it any more, it’s being thrown out.

This also angers me. The selfishness is abhorrent. This is an affluent neighbourhood. Has it not crossed their comfortable, privileged minds that there are people who would be grateful for these things? Do they not stop to consider that there are families who must do without the things that they are so glibly tossing?

This is a well-educated neighbourhood. Generally, the higher the education level, the higher the concern for the environment. But it seems the concern is all talk and no action. Unless the action is writing a cheque, I suppose. Which is laudable, and I wouldn’t want them to stop doing that — but hey, how about considering the things you might do?

It wouldn’t take much. There is a quality consignment shop that specializes in maternity and children’s clothing and accessories, no more than five blocks away. There are cars in all these driveways: they could bundle these things a mere five blocks. There are routine charity collections of clothing and household goods. Last week I gave a bag of outgrown childrens’ clothes to the Canadian Diabetes Association. Last month, it was the Cerebral Palsy Association.

I keep a large garbage bag in my back porch, into which I toss whatever the children have outgrown, and small household items we no longer need/use. When the charity calls, informing me of the pick-up, I have it all ready for them.

It takes no more effort to haul these things to the curb for collection by one of these charities than it does to haul it out for the garbageman.

And yet, these things are going into the trash.

I’m back to feeling sad.

October 3, 2007 Posted by | manners, socializing | 23 Comments