On the Ropes - Tom Roper

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Have a little for our beautiful environment

Tom muses about how much trash gets left scores of litter that gets left behind

I want to add to the congratulations for the Christian school kids and their parents and sponsors; you guys are cool.

Garbage is one of those human conditions that can be difficult to understand. How can we throw our waste out into the landscape that we love and live in?

Does that mean that we don’t love where we live? My wife and I have just moved to town as of last fall and I am surprised as to how much garbage is lying around town. We have come from the Coalmine Road country out of Telkwa and yes, we had our fair share of garbage out there.

In fact, did you know there was a regional dump along the side of the road near the mailboxes next to the Telkwa River. You would consider that a strange place to locate a dump, beside a river.

We used to pick up garbage along the road every spring and fall and there was no shortage. Certainly, the most common items along with beer cans were coffee cups and fast-food wrappers. Nowadays, with around 7.5 billion folks on this floating paradise, we can accumulate a fair amount of coffee cups onto the ground from our daily ritual.

We have seen some strange sites over the years. The one that comes to mind is when attending my nephew’s wedding in Arizona a few years back, the Canadians were scurrying around picking up bottles and cans after the party and preparing to return them to the bottle depot.

Funnily enough, Arizona does not take back bottles and cans, so all this trash ends up in the landfill and on the desert trails.

I also recall the time on a tour bus in Mexico when a couple of locals were finishing their pop bottle drink and to all the Canadians on board, we were shocked as they tossed the bottles out the window.

Back home, though it’s not much different. We were up at one of our favourite viewpoints this spring, Woodcreek Logging Road, off of Ptarmigan road and as the snow melted, the garbage emerged. I filled a bag with bottles and cans and another with, guess what, coffee cups and fast-food wrappers.

Last fall I saw a lady on Main Street picking up garbage with a picker upper tool. Wow, I had to get me one of those. She said to go see a guy called Ingo, he knows where to get one. I banged on his door and he invited me in to show me his stock.

Yes, he has a closet full and for $25 you can own your own. Ingo is another one of those people who cares about his community and can be seen picking up garbage with this contraption.

It seems to me that we, in this part of the world, do care about our environment, we just need to think about one of the more important elements of our place on this planet. Respect.

We talk about it, but it is a deep subject. It pretty well affects every part of our life. You have to respect where you live and respect how you live.

We can do it.

Remember the old adage of the Backcountry Horsemen of Smithers: Pack it in, pack it out.

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Red Chris open pit mine approximately 80 km south of Dease Lake. The province and Tahltan will start negotiations on the first consent-based decision-making agreement ever to be negotiated under DRIPA with regards to two mining projects in northern B.C. (Newcrest Mining photo)
B.C. to begin DRIPA-based negotiations with Tahltan First Nation on two northwest mining projects

Negotiations on Red Chris and Eskay Creek mines to commence soon in accordance with Section 7 of DRIPA

President of the Tahltan Central Government, Chad Norman Day, surveys Tahltan territory by helicopter in this July 2019 handout photo. The Tahltan Nation and the British Columbia government have struck what officials say is a historic agreement for shared decision-making for the nation’s territory in northwestern B.C., a hot spot for mineral exploration. Day says the deal shows they are “getting closer and closer to a true nation-to-nation relationship.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Tahltan Central Government
Tahltan Nation, B.C. government sign agreement for shared decision-making

Deal commits the province and the northwest B.C. nation to developing a land-use plan

Tahltan First Nation wildlife guardian, Jarett Quock, above and below right, was awarded the Outstanding Individual Leadership Award by the Indigenous Leadership Initiative on June 3. (Photos courtesy Adam Amir)
Tahltan wildlife guardian receives outstanding leadership award

Jarett Quock’s contributions were recognised by the Indigenous Leadership Initiative

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read