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LETTER: Using less would ease waste problem

I am writing in response to your editorial, "Reduction is key to the plan"

(Oct. 21, The News)

While I have always been impressed by Nova Scotia's forward thinking with regard to the environment, I wish we could be further ahead in addressing the issue that should always precede any restorative actions. Using less!

The virtues of sorting garbage and abiding by rules have been so perverted in our world that I have often seen a man whom I know to be homeless, sporting a helmet because he is riding a bike as he collects empty bottles and cans! First, let's get this guy a place to live. Then can we worry about whether or not he is wearing a helmet.

Second, while I wouldn't want to diminish his source of income, he is making such profit because we are such gluttonous consumers. Before we make any more distinctions about what and how matter is sorted for recycling, let's just stop using as much of it! And choose the stuff we have to consume with greater discernment.

Our obesity rate in Nova Scotia is shocking. It is shameful. One less potato chip bag per person might make all the difference. Grabbing fewer "healthy," organic, excessively packaged snacks would do even more to reduce the garbage we make. Let's start eating more apples – even the core. We'll have less to worry about coding and sorting so we can focus on dancing in fresh air listening to each other's concerns under the trees growing from the seeds.

I know this is a tall order. Witness our fellows everywhere staring at their cellphones, smoking cigarettes and guzzling cans of Coca-Cola. Maybe a good rest, a decent meal and some real companionship might stem our ravenous consumption so we can count stars instead of sorting Styrofoam.

Use less. Be more. What a concept. So simple a government might never even consider it.

Eliza Fernbach

Former Pictou County resident currently living in Paris

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