Today, on Earth Day, I have a proposal. I like all the green things, the solar, the wind and alternative power.I love using less energy and gasoline and walking or using public transportation.
We hear fights about nuclear energy and fracking and coal and what is the best way to heat us up, or cool us down.
In this Easter/Passover week we are reminded that it is our duty to provide good stewardship to the earth. It is our God-given resource and we need to care for our planet.
Why then, has no one focused on garbage?
When I fly to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio and take the "Rapid Transit" into town, I see garbage all along the way.
Discarded bottles and paper line the route along the tracks. Unlike the highways, which have clean-up programs in exchange for signs which advertise company names there are abandoned buildings and lots of train/transit routes tilled with paper and plastic.
Along Amtrak's beautiful route from Washington, D.C. to New York City are beautiful wetlands with tall elephant grass on the way into New York's Penn station. Birds make their homes there amid collections of garbage.
When I got to Haiti, small tent villages were erected post earthquake in areas littered with garbage. Water bottles, plastic cartons, paper, moldy cardboard and cans make up the landscape. In China, away from tourists eyes, whole groups of poor people pick thorough garbage but entire hills of junk stay in place after being picked through but entire hills of junk stay in place after being picked though. In beautiful South Sudan, every village, school and even the few clinics have garbage made up of bottles, cans and paper.
So, I am proposing World Garbage Day. Let's get world-wide donations of eco-friendly garbage bags. Give children around the world the day off and organize communities to clean up the garbage. Contests could be held with groups of children and high school students to see who can collect the most. In some areas of the world, plastic could be sorted and recycled. In parts of the world where recycling is not an option then one good bulldozer can put the garbage into a final resting place, into the earth where years can take care of it. Clearly, plastic bottles making landfill is not the best solution but it is better than villages and rivers being littered with careless garbage.
World leaders, such as in Morocco, who spent millions last year touting "Earth Day" are anxious to show they are green and earth friendly. That's great. Let's have them lead the way for "World Garbage Day." Send them bags and let's clean up the planet.