I just got back from an el-stinko of an assignment, interviewing people at a garbage landfill. If you think your own kitchen waste smells bad, imagine what 200 tons of garbage smells like.
Anyway, visiting that landfill today left a lasting impression on me (and I'm not talking about the lingering stink on my clothes). It made me wonder how much garbage I actually throw out a day, which is a LOT. Paper and plastic most of all.
Really, I never gave much thought to my own garbage till the day I started writing environmental stories. Sure, my sister (who can be quite the environmentalist at times) used to drill us on the importance of recycling plastic bags and bottles, boycotting styrofoam and not eating sharks-fin (which I still do. The taste is over-rated anyway). But I never gave much thought to it.
I'm still a long way from being a tree-hugger, but hey, I try to do what I can. My car boot is full of plastic bottles and aluminium cans I've collected (my car could pass off as a garbage truck, if you disregard the fact that it's actually a Proton Wira...). I try not to use styrofoam stuff as much as possible, and oh, I DO like trees (not enough to HUG them, mind you). Especially the shady ones. :-)
Then I found out about all sorts of morbid stuff while researching my articles. Stuff like how much garbage are going into landfills. And how little is being recycled. And how if the current trend continues, we might eventually turn our entire COUNTRY into a landfill.
Its depressing stuff. What's even more depressing is how easily people in Malaysia dismiss it with their tidak-apa attitude and continue being un-environmentally friendly.
Recycling is still very much in its infancy here in Malaysia. People still dump everything in one place and expect it to be carted somewhere where they don't see it again.
But hey, it DOES come back leh. All the landfills are all almost full oledi. A few hundred TONS of garbage are being dumped in landfills EVERY DAY. Sooner or later, your HOUSE may be next to a landfill (a bit of an exageration, but hey, it COULD happen eh?)
Someone I interviewed today said that if stuff is recycled AT SOURCE (meaning you and me at our own houses, folks), then a lot of the garbage going into landfills could actually be reduced.
So... the next time you are about to throw out your aluminium cans, plastic bottles or newspapers, think of sending them for recycling instead. Heck, you might even make some MONEY out of it. Not much, but hey, it's MONEY.
So people, here's the moral of the day - RECYCLE! REUSE! MAKE MOST OF IT! HUG SOME TREES! SAVE THE WHALES!
Now excuse me while I go take a shower to get rid of the stink...
*This environmentaly friendly message was brought to you by the letters R and R. All your garbage are NOT belong to me.*