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Let’s Talk Trash: Creature comforts

All creatures other than humanity are largely unencumbered by the burdens of ownership
Lynx and Moon enjoy basking in the spring sunlight.

Humans are good at accumulating. Be it gadgets or gear, we find ways to justify each acquisition.

We tend to get curious about this habit only when our closets and cupboards are full or pockets empty. Spring is a good time to clear out the old and make room simply for room’s sake.

The shine of a new trinket inevitably fades right about when we awaken to the asks of any new object in our possession. It is prudent to consider the whole life cycle cost of a purchase.

Insurance, upkeep, repair, storage and disposal fees are not advertised on the label. At some moment we might shake off the spell of the newly acquired treat enough to ask who possesses whom.

Our creature comforts are often so in name only. The reality of ownership can be much heavier. All creatures other than humanity, in fact, are largely unencumbered by the burdens of ownership.

How often have we wished for more time? To be with our kids. To enjoy the trails. To have a nap. To watch the sunset.

At the most profound levels of who we are, we know that stuff isn’t what matters, but autopilot switches on, leading to clicking and swiping. Winter can be a time when we are most prone to fall for such temptations; the dark of the cave lulling us into hibernation’s stagnancy.

The turn of the seasons in the natural world, however, is replete with arrows pointing to clearing and cleansing.

Nettle is poking its way out of the soil along with volunteer parsley and the so-called weed, dandelion. How fascinating that these all, when used safely, can bring about a clearing of accumulated clutter in our physical house.

Spring is also a natural time to give the body a rest from the excesses of winter, thus redirecting energy to repair and detoxification. It is a time for clearing the fires of digestion from their sludge in order to be able to stoke the flames for summer and all that it asks.

Spring invites the light of the sun, revealing the cobwebs and dust that accumulated over the darker months. Many households do a once-over scrub to welcome in freshness.

It’s also the perfect time to set aside clothing, toys and other goods for donation, consignment, sale or giveaway. Contributing to the wealth of treasures available in the community by releasing our excess keeps goods in circulation and reduces the need for resource extraction.

If you must buy, consider releasing something you don’t use at the same time. Instead of buying new, look for gently used items, or buy non-physical items or consumables.

Looking to the comforts that creatures indulge in may give us a clue to what is of true value. Feeling the sun on our skin, the ocean waves on our toes, and the warmth of a friend’s company might just be the best investments to save up for.

Let’s Talk Trash is contracted by qathet Regional District to deliver its waste reduction education program. For more information, email [email protected] or go to