There. It sits on its side, pointing its open lid at the brick wall.
Who put it there?
I pick it up. The smooth, transparent plastic runs beneath my feeling fingers as I clutch it in my palm.
There is gum. Contorting my face, I replace my finger from the spot of "a-b-c" gum.
Right. Not too far off is a bin to put it in, but I hesitate to do so.
I wonder. What will this simple bottle do when it lands at the bottom, with the rest, and goes off to a recycling facility the next day?
There's the rub. It could be a multitude of items that fall into our common lifestyles.
What could it be? There are so many opportunities for this little guy, yet I hear the dubious thoughts of others.
It could be this! It could be another part for a shower curtain's water-proof lining, or it could be a minute piece of equipment to serve a purpose in the structure of a space shuttle.
It could be another bottle. It could be just melted along with the rest of its lot and molded into another of its kind.
What are you about to do? The right bin for that aluminum can is to the left, not to the right.
I see. There is nothing I can do to turn this decision over.
Where are your brothers? All you touch now are wrappers and leftover cafeteria food.
What is your meaning? Should I sacrifice my clean hand and save you from a landfill?
I will do it... I take this pristine hand and dirty it in the name of the environment.
I still wonder. What chain of events will occur once I join these two bottles with its rightful companions of material?
The world if full of so many possibilities, and either, we accept things for what they are, or we try to change our situations.
It was ourselves who chose to run through a lazy routine of throwing down a Styrofoam cup or a piece or cardboard to the ground and relinquish our claim and the unappealing sight of it.
Its use in our life at that moment was fulfilled and finished, and we did not care anymore about the object.
There is also the chance of being one of those people who attempted to throw the wad of paper across the room, and when the rim is just barely touched but fails to coax it into the receptacle, it does not matter. Another "oh, well."
Then there are the multitude of businesses who dump their waste into the air or into the water. Into the ground if they dare, and the Earth just sucks it up, crying in silent pain as a species meets its end. The lone fish unable to breath because the oil has seeped into its gills.
Money is power, but what good is that power when the Earth is screaming and dying slowly, and there is nothing left in the future to reap?
Picking up this bottle and putting it in was not just a simple task that I will wash my hands of later.
I recycle in the name of the Earth.
I recycle because I have hope that a simple act will lead to something greater for the world we live in.
I recycle when it is too wasteful to let it rot in a dump with used parts.
I recycle because I want to show others that there is still compassion for more than just people.
I just. I want people to notice more to what they are doing to the world around them...
There you go. I lift the lid of the blue, plastic bin and watch them fall to the bottom for a second before I let go-
Oops. I just realized I have to turn in my textbook to the bookstore for the year...