By Drew Hornbein, Medium
To throw trash away is to hide a truth from ourselves. When we throw trash into designated bins, we cast a veil over our choices. We cannot throw trash away, because there is no “away.” There is only this world, our home. When a person hoards their waste, we look on in disgust. Their home slowly fills with trash until all life — any activity that could be considered living — is choked out. Why do we react differently to identical treatment of our shared home, the Earth?
Because we don’t see it. In most cases, we put it out of our sight, pushing it into someone else’s back yard. If we had to face our waste, we would see the consequences of our choices and have to ask some uncomfortable questions. To avoid this, we veil our trash. We hide it, try to reconfigure it. But buried or burnt, waste doesn’t disappear; it only changes form and moves around. It usually becomes the problem of peoples who are less powerful than those producing the waste. We choke the life out of their homes, often while they produce little themselves. We stay far enough away to keep their demands for change, like our garbage, out of sight and out of mind.