American’s throw away 4.5 pounds of trash a day yet it doesn’t seem to bother anyone, partly because they don’t see the problem. It’s just another empty statistic.
Ever since the 70’s when we saw that TV commercial with that Native American crying over all the litter we created, we’ve been a lot better at keeping America beautiful. We’ve become used to people picking up after us when we don’t pick up after ourselves. Everyone puts their waste in a trash receptacle, the garbage truck comes along and whisks it all off to a so-called bottomless pit, and then the problem is solved. Trash only becomes a problem when we have to look at it, smell it, or compete with those nasty little creatures that feast on it. After all, out of site, out of mind, right?
Out of our mind is right. We don’t have all the space in the world. Maybe not in your lifetime, but we will run out. Manhattan has. Their trash problem has now also become the problem their surrounding states’, where they must export.
We can’t just sweep all of our waste under the rug, or dump it in the ocean, and expect everyone to forget about it. Or can we? How big must the Pacific Garbage Patch get before people start to take notice of this toxic trash heap that is twice the size of Texas and floating in our ocean between San Francisco and Hawaii? Whose beautiful view must it obstruct before they do something about it? How ugly does American have to get before we realize that our Indian friend wasn’t crying over us littering but the fact that we are creating so much waste and pollution.
The solution isn’t to hide it but to expose it. This Earth Day, we’re asking you to please litter.
For one day only, April 22, we’d like you to show off your trash and everyone else’s. It’s time we summoned the great spirit of Iron Eyes Cody and took more ridiculous measures. Let’s trash this joint.
Boycott trashcans. Hide trashcans. Overturn trashcans. Decorate trashcans. Put trash where everyone has no other choice but to see it. Have fun. Don’t preach doom and gloom. Make friends. Make art. No need to talk trash. Encourage others to get involved or just go about your business. All you have to do is focus on making Earth Day become the ugliest day of the year so we can inspire everyone to spend the other 364 days a year doing something about it.
And don’t worry. Someone will pick it up, maybe even you. But first, let’s hope the media does. That way, they can explain to everyone what the Hell is wrong with this picture.