Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I never wanted to be a treehugger!


You see the weirdest stuff out here on the road. I see a lot of shoes; just one at a time. Once, I remember seeing a woman's belt in the middle of the highway. How did that happen?!

If your moving in the near future, please take some extra care tying stuff down. I see single couch cushions and box springs almost every day. Just the other day, I saw a whole series down the same highway. Had to be the same guy. First, an oscillating fan; like you'd buy at Walmart or somewhere - in a couple chunks on the shoulder. Then one of those 3 drawer Sterilite storage units - blown to bits. And finally, three resin patio chairs - all with only three legs left.

I won't gross you out with road kill stories, but two beavers in 36 hours is not just sad; that's weird. I also shouldn't tell you that I think I saw a bear cub once. That is really sad. My sister will get a weird satisfaction in amongst the sorrow. When she was a single digit age, about when you want to "have" things that are your own, she claims she saw a bear; presumably a live one. The family was travelling through the north woods of Michigan, on the way to Grandma and Grandpa Townsends in Cadillac. We were on I131, I think, anyway, it was a backwoods highway with these steep banks on either side. The forest started on the ridge. By the time the ridge crested away from the highway it was thick. Amy exclaimed that she saw a bear. No one else did, but we were running up this highway in the woods. She probably saw a bear, but that hasn't stopped my brother and I from saying "A bear!?! . . . yeah, right" for the last 25 years.

Another thing that I see way too much of out here on the road - plastic grocery bags! Wow, I've never been a treehugger and I used to be a plastics guy, but they are everywhere.

When I was in the plastics business, and involved in recycling, we successfully lobbied against a mandate to put corn starch in plastic grocery bags. The corn starch was added to the plastic to make the bags somewhat degradable. It wasn't perfect but it supposedly would have sped up the breakdown of the bag. It also polluted the plastic and made it un-recyclable. We argued that the bags would be collected, recycled and used in other products. It is time to revisit this issue. Bags are blowing everywhere.

Now the trouble with corn starch is the corn part. Food prices are rising, in large part, because of the increased demand for corn to make ethanol. Don't get me started on corn! Corn is used, directly and indirectly, in almost everything the average American eats, but that's a story for another day. I listened to a radio program about an incredible sounding documentary called King Corn.

There is actually a lot of trash around. I don't understand it. Growing up in the 70's with "Give a Hoot; Don't Pollute" and the Litterbug, I wouldn't dream of through something out the window. There is a certain percentage of truckers who live like Neanderthols but they are not responsible for it all. Two summers ago, I was walking a Lake Michigan beach that I knew very well as a kid. I was deeply saddened by all the trash I saw in the sand. I've never thought this way, but I was disgusted. We need to be better stewards of this world. That is not a political statement; that is a fact.

2 comments:

  1. Your next blog will be a happy one. I won't even care if you call me asphalt again. ;)

    and of course i agree with the facts herein. And also where you could've headed down the "corn" road. I agree with that too. Corn, Oil, Coal, they're really all the same.

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  2. oh and i left that comment above. I forgot to add my name.

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