Sometimes You Just Have to Get Your Hands Dirty

Sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty. Especially when it comes to taking care of this grand and glorious gift we know as Momma Earth.

Growing up as one of eight kids, as well as the mother now of three adult daughters, I’ve always maintained a sense of neither wanting to be a foo-foo kind of person nor raise one. For those of you without the highly specialized training to know just exactly what constitutes being a foo-foo kind of person, let’s just say it’s someone who instinctively draws back in moments of, well, moments when their hands are about to get dirty.

Don’t get me wrong. I neither relish the idea of dallying in the dirt nor sloshing through muck up to my meniscus. What I am capable of doing, however, is rolling up my sleeves and sifting through a little trash. Especially when the prize is tantamount to recovering the proverbial pearl of great price.

We’ve all been there

If I asked for a show of hands to see how many have done a dumpster dive when a sentimental or essential object was at risk, I’m betting several would shoot up. After all, there’s typically only one family heirloom ring handed down from great grandmother Gertie. And let’s not forget the motivation to hunt down those orthodontic retainers that inadvertently end up in the trash bin. Heaven forbid you should have to go back and pay a third time for a replacement.

But what if you’re at a family function, or maybe a school or church event, and you go to throw out your foam drink cup only to find a veritable treasure trove of the never-gonna-die stuff piling up in the bin? What makes this so much more egregious is those foam cups and plates could have been so easily replaced with compostable cups and plates, which do indeed die an honorable death given they possess the ability to be processed into a phenomenal fertilizer. Talk about a win-win!

What if your trip to the trash can finds a bunch of empty water bottles? Or a seismic stash of soda cans? Or horror upon horrors! What if there are a gazillion empty, but perfectly intact, glass bottles? Would you still be so quick to take a fishing expedition?! Perhaps implausibly to the foo-foo folks, the answer from this recycling/composting/chickadee is not only yes, but a resounding ‘Heck yeah! You bet both your sweet avocado green-thumbs I would!’

As I say this, it’s worth noting I really do try to keep my dumpster diving as inconspicuous as possible. After all, I’m not out to call attention to myself or throw shade on an event host. Which is not to say I’m not guilty of possibly embarrassing my aforementioned children back in the day in my zeal to snatch plastic bottles from the clutches of landfill eternity or rescue errant soda cans from the roadside. At this point however, not only do they know and accept their Mom is pretty much going to promote the use of compostables at every opportunity, as well as retrieve whatever recyclables she happens upon, equally as important, they too understand and subscribe to the philosophy—when it comes to Momma Earth, sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty.

~ Therese