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.