For the second time this month I've had to stop and ask a bottle recycler to put out his fire. Burning plastics is not fun to walk by and I can only imagine the damage it is doing to the air, water and soil. That man recycles glass bottles, not plastic ones... another example of where the specialization of the expert fails us.
I pass at least 10 garbage piles on my way to work every day. It's 5km of nice fields, but there are piles of plastic being made ready for burning every day. How can they stand the smell? How can they think that the soil and air and water of our Mother can sustain the damage? And to make it worse, most of the garbage is bags of fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides; that means those things were used on the soil and are then in our food and in our water.
And when I arrived home this evening after work, there were 3 high school students traipsing through our garden. Why? Why don't they know where their food comes from? Why does everyone dishonour our Mother?
Perhaps it is because they are removed from not only the responsibility of growing, catching, or gathering the food, as well as taking care of the land, but also from witnessing any of these fundamental acts of humanity.
The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life. (Wendell Berry in "The Unsettling of America," 3rd ed. 86)