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This morning, the wind blew a large plastic bag across the sidewalk. It fluttered like a butterfly in front of me and my dogs and then skittered away. Last summer I would have grabbed it, but 2010 has brought new insights.
Once I regularly picked up broken glass, fast food containers and empty liquor bottles. I thought it was sacrilegious to our beautiful natural environment for people to throw trash. But as the snow melts, uncovering glass shards, styrofoam cups and snack bags, I have to guess people like it this way. I’m trying to see the beauty others must see when a snagged plastic bag blows in the wind. I’ve learned that kids who throw candy wrappers on the ground are simply expressing their youth, much as the carload of teenage boys last summer who threw cans out the window as they passed me on my bike – barely missing me, by the way, but kids must always be excused. It’s OK for picnickers to leave their empty containers where they fall. After all, who wants to take that stuff home? And what is more natural than those nocturnal couples who leave used condoms, bottles and cigarette butts in green spaces. Besides, no one wants to defile their cars; cars are used to spew litter, not collect it. So the classic “trash blown from the back of a pick-up” is OK, too.
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