Thou Shall Not Dump

Photo: Sharon Gardiner

Wow, I’m shocked! I just read that Canada is the top producer of garbage per person in the world!  How can that be?!  We share environmental ideas on a global level (e.g. the historic Paris Climate Change Conference, United Nations Conference).  From the outside it looks like we’re stepping up our game to develop environmental solutions for tackling climate change. But on an individual level, our efforts are the worst!

We’re not practicing what we preach.  We think we’re doing all right and our conscience is clear. But we tell our kids to reduce, reuse and recycle when, as adults, we just want to keep consuming. So much so, our Canadian debt per capita is at its highest ever. We now owe $1.70 for every $1.00 earned.

Canada is a difficult country to live in without making some sort of footprint. Wintertime reminds us we really need a roof over our heads. We need protection from the pelting weather about to come. We can’t simply live off the land without making some impact on our resources.

Even though it’s impossible to be footprint-free, it is easy to see we can do things better. In this time of heightened consumerism we have a responsibility to always think, feel and act from the source. For everything we do, we should consider its beginning, middle and ending. A good ambition for 2018 could be zero garbage, zero landfill. Thou shall not dump.

Resolve to go into the New Year and stop purchasing so much junk. We have a nightmarish flow of junk being produced and purchased. Advertising is powerful. Consumerism is intoxicating. We need retail therapy for our planetary therapy.

Know your municipality’s recycling rules and reuse items that can’t be recycled. We’ve got to get serious about diverting our garbage from landfills. It’s going to take everybody’s efforts. We can all resolve to be better world stewards of the environment. Let’s show the world how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful part of the world. We don’t have time to wait.

“Thou shall not dump.”

About the author: After college, Marilyn Haines worked as a technologist in geotechnical and marine engineering. She moved to our area in 2000 and has had amazing opportunities within the forestry and environmental fields. She enjoyed opening an eco-friendly store in Barry’s Bay and continues to encourage ecological awareness by facilitating dialogue and community service.


  1. Patricia Whitfield

    Thank you Marilyn for this article! You are absolutely right that we all need to be better stewards of our environment. Recycling of clothing and other items plus the reduction in the use of plastic (straws, bottles, bags etc.) is a start for us.

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