Away

There is no away.

It’s a cliche, I know, but the thing about cliches is that they tend to be true. That’s how it works.

As for this one, it helps to think about some specific piece of trash, something that you used to own, you used to want, but that is now simply rubbish. Perhaps it can be recycled, turned into something new and useful, or it may be that it is destined for a more final location. It may be that you will simply throw it away.

Except that there is no away. Unless by that term, you mean a landfill, or even a beach. I guess if it’s far enough removed from your day-to-day, it might feel like “away.” But it’s not like it’s really gone, especially if it’s plastic.

What if we had to live with everything we threw out? If it didn’t get picked up at the curb and whisked off somewhere far-removed and magical? What if it stayed with us for the rest of our lives, and our children’s lives, and their children’s lives? Would we change anything about how we live? Would we change our habits?

Because that’s exactly the point. There really is no away.

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