Still in the south, I came across something really interesting. The small town I visited was a portrait of Virginia in the 1950s. Other than a supermarket built during the last 10 years the town remains quiet and friendly.
If you trek out of town by only a few miles you find yourself in a bucolic countryside which support cattle, milk cows and sheep. Those who run the farms work hard and use the town center to buy groceries and shop at the butcher, baker and individual shops.
This little town is not Stony Point Mall, not many name brands you would recognize, but you can get all you want. Maybe not all you want, but all you need. Other small towns, which sport a few shops and homes, as the main road, snakes south through National parks and great forests.
The scenery is not the only attraction to this community, there is a way of life that I have never seen before. Citizens grow their own vegetables, shop every fortnight at a farmer’s market and live a laid back life.
Last Wednesday, one of my friends asked me, “if people had caught on to a sustainable life where I live?” You know my answer.
I also attended a council meeting, basically similar to a superintendents meeting. They had nine councilmen at large, a county manager and a mayor. I listened to a discussion about rezoning a particular area of a nearby town. The property had to be broken into sections so that the council could evaluate the new parcels individually.
It turned out just fine for the applicant. He got his subdivision and the council negotiated what they wanted.
But the council has some issues just as our supervisors do from time to time. Some time ago the same council gave thumbs up to building a McDonald’s on the edge of town. Until the McDonald’s opened, the town and the roads leading to it were pristine. No cups, bags or other fast food trash was to be seen.
I was still in town a week after Ronald McDonald opened his place of fattening food. After the junk food purveyor opened, trash could be seen on the roads leading from the restaurant. A good friend of mine said, “I’m going to gather up all this McDonald’s trash, put it in a big bag, walk into that place and dump it on their counter.”
The McDonald’s screams everything that the small isn’t.
There’s one coffee shop in town which will not use paper products. He’s really OCD about it, but it makes you think about your environment and how some would have it trashed, even their pristine roadsides.
I’ve never been able to figure out why someone would throw their trash out of the window of their car in the ditch or my front yard.
Unlike one flab causing restaurant in that town way down south that takes you back to your childhood, at least if your 60 years old, some in our town don’t care. I would challenge those who really care to pick up trash on the side of the road, (I know some organizations and individuals do that already and can’t keep up with it) sort the McDonald’s from the Wendy’s from the Burger King, from the KFC, from the Hardy’s bags, and make an effort to dump the trash in the restaurant that is trashing our homes.
We should keep doing that until the restaurants give in and devise some way to stop their litter from trashing our community. How about a fine for each restaurant which allows trash to become litter in our town?
I personally like the idea of collecting all the trash from each fat dealer and presenting the junk to the manager on one particular day. Call all the news outlets you can think of and make a big deal of dumping the trash at the serving counter in their restaurant.
I can imagine, which may be just a fantasy, that it gets exceptional coverage and may cause embarrassment for the stores and force the eggheads at the top pay grade to figure something out that could stop their customer’s trash from being spread around.
As I see it, the restaurants themselves condone the practice. Carryout food begs to be thrown from the customer’s window at any time. The folks that do care, I salute you. But I believe you are in the minority.
As we hear the pounding drum beating out “quality of life,” how does quality of life shine on trash lying on the side of the road?
It’s your road, it’s your ditch, it’s your front yard. We take care of our property, aren’t the sides of the roads leading to our homes just as important as our own property?
When we expect visitors, we mow our lawn; we sweep our driveway and spruce up the place. But then your visitor rides past all the trash on our roads along the way.
Let me know if you would like to collect some trash and as a group deliver it to the restaurant that proudly prints its name on the front of their trash.