Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Garbage strike survival ideas from a six-year-old
Like most parents, I'm frequently surprised by my kid. He's six years old and, well, to be perfectly honest, he often has better ideas than I do.
When we got home from school tonight, there was a message from a radio station that had read my post, 10 ways to survive a garbage strike. This meant that I had to start by explaining what a strike is. Thankfully, he's a smart kid. Probably also helped that we read him Click, Clack, Moo when he was little.
I asked him if he had suggestions to add to the list. Of course he did.
"I would just not use a lot of things," he said. Sensible. What would he give up? "Milk."
"Okay," I replied. "That might help, but the strike might last for weeks. You probably need milk. Lets put that on a list of 'essentials' that we can't give up." I suggested buying milk in bags instead of cartons because of the smaller volume of waste (we'd have to freeze some bags, since we don't go through too much."
Naturally, he started talking about how we could re-use the bags as garbage bags. After the strike ends, that is. (If there is a garbage strike in Toronto, that is. We'll know all too soon.)
"What else could we use less of?" I asked. He pointed at the shampoo. I conceded that we could probably be more careful about the amount we use, and proceded to wash his hair.
Then I got up to let him play in the water for a bit.
"Wait!" he called. "I've got more ideas."
I got a pad and pen and sat down on the toilet to take dictation from a six-year-old pontificating from the bath.
"If you ever get a cardboard box, turn it into something else, like a little town with a train track in it."
Right. Creative, but not necessarily a way to deal with thousands of tons of trash. Still, it could make a fun weekend project, so I'm not going to argue.
That's when he really surprised me: "Eat less candy, because that means fewer candy wrappers."
Somehow I doubt his friends will be cheering for that one.
In the meantime, I'm going to use his bath water to help the tomatoes grow and tuck my creative thinker into bed. Then I'm going to sit down and cross my fingers that the outside workers and City Hall can find enough common ground to make everyone happy.