Monday, August 24, 2009

Speaking of Runoff...

So I mentioned in my previous post about the Charles River Watershed people at Greenfest and how they helped me to grasp some of my own responsibilities toward keeping the river clean. I already do some of these things. My lawn is "organic". I let professionals change my oil, etc. Sadly however, my responsibilities do include picking up dog poop, which is not my favorite thing (sigh). With that still in my mind, I took a peek over across the street and saw this.

I took this picture last night from the porch of the parsonage. You can rest assured that the same image greeted me this morning, but with a slightly larger blast radius as squirrels and others visited the smorgasbord overnight. What happens is that over the weekend we get a large number of people who go to the park to either canoe or picnic (or--apparently--vaccuum) then, instead of "taking only pictures and leaving only footprints" they leave us--and the Charles--their garbage. That is the river about twenty feet in the background.

Now the town does its best to clean up after these folks and the core mess will be gone in a couple of days, bit I think it does serve to accentuate the seriousness of a certain crime that serves a a punchline as much as anything else in our conversation: littering. What do we do when there aren't enough garbage cans? Do we drop our stuff on the ground or do we put it back in the car and put in into our own garbage can when we get home? Presumably the garbage arrived in a car (or a boat, but the boats go on the top of vans and trucks when they are finished). Presumably we thought of that water bottle as ours before we were done with it. Why does it belong to the town, the squirrels, the park's neighbors, and--ultimately--the river now?

When I was a boy I did a lot of camping, hiking and such. Still do now that my boys can all walk. The rule was (and is) that if you pack it in, you pack it out. Shouldn't that still be the case?

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