No Dr. Plastic Picker, YOU DID NOT DUMPSTER DIVE??!!! The Problem with our wasteful culture. All we need is in front of us.
December 29, 2021
I was a bit worried about my total plastic pollution bags total, but I’ve caught up. I’m at 9 bags today, and still a few days left. I’ll easily be able to get at least 15 if not 20 bags. But of course you are not really here to hear about my plastic pollution bag totals, right? I’m at bag 584 by the way. You are likely here because of my provocative title?
Here I tell the truth of this plastic picking/environmental journey. I was not shy when I truly did my first and probably last dumpster dive. I have no shame because there is nothing to be ashamed about. I’m actually very proud and I proudly had an eco-adventure. I was with our teen daughter at Volleyball in the posh area of Del Mar. I can’t go in due to COVID and the volleyball club’s rules. I usually take the time to walk across this empty dirt lot (that houses the Del Mar Christmas Tree Farm and overflow parking for the Del Mar Fair at times). If you walk past this area near the main street, you can get to the San Digueito River Park and restored wetlands. I walk for about an hour wandering their well marked trails and look at my friends the shore birds. I’ve seen so many different species there, willets, snowy egrets, curlews, coumarants, oystercatchers and many more. I was headed over the muddy field when there was a solitary dumpster with four pieces of pristine/clean/very solid planks of wood sticking out of the dumpster. The dumpster was large and I peaked it, it was mostly parts of a broken down bed and TV. Not much “trash.” Literally the planks of wood were looking at me, and reaching toward me. I’m really into repurposing things right now, and I could see using the nice wood as parts of my upcycled urban garden. So I took the wood. It was very clean, but technically it came out of the dumpster. I gathered the 4 pieces of wood and walked back to my car (which is a small compact hybrid) and had no qualms about figuring out how to bring them home but at the same time be able to fit the teenager that I had brought with my originally. And I did, I had fun fitting the wood into the car.
I still went on my wetlands walk and picked up three bags of plastic pollution (I use old salad tongs for these walks), which is why I’m up to 9 bags today already! I’ll get at least another 2 this morning since I have to work the late shift and have some time. And when I returned from my walk, with my mind and soul literally cleansed by the wetlands – I greeted our daughter and she was delighted yet somewhat taken aback to have been displaced by four planks of wood. My reasoning and she understands, is that it is high quality wood. I’m positive there are no termites. It’s useful. And otherwise it would have gone into the landfill and become methane. I’m not sure how much methane it would have become, but it would have just stayed there in the landfill.
When I brought home the wood, my father-in-law was delighted and actually is keeping it for his own projects. He likes to work with reclaimed wood. If I had not salvaged that wood, no one would have. And in exchange, I had repurposed a paddleboard he had found on one of his walks. It’s a faux coffee table for my urban roofdeck. And so thus ends the adventures of Dr. Plastic Picker’s dumpster diving adventrues. What I needed was right in front of me, and no one was going to upcycle it but me. I find that it’s a metaphor for so many things in life. What we often need is right in front of us.