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We must be mad with joy

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

 
flower dumpster
If you have failed to join the ranks of Dumpster divers because of the yuk factor, Walkabout’s Dumpster Diver correspondent has checked in to show us it isn’t all about finding edibles amid stinking messes of rot. 
 
“Today I found a few bouquets in the flower dumpster,” he wrote the other day, when he sent the photo of said flowers (above).“They’re grown in California. During spring there will be hundreds, perhaps thousands of bouquets that are thrown away. They aren’t composted, despite the compost dumpster sitting twenty feet away. Maybe they don’t want to pay someone to remove all the rubber bands and plastic? (Or they don’t want to innovate with their growers, to banish non-biological trappings from a biological product? Or is the cellophane compostable, and the employees just haven’t spent sixty seconds to find out?)”
 
These are the conscientious questions of a person who is trying to live thoughtfully on our befouled earth. And while he is doing that, he is making some extra money hauling metal from the woods behind his home in Spring Garden.
 
“I’ve collected hundreds of pounds of metal over the past year,” he wrote. “The scrapyard value of what I found during February approaches $200 for less than 20 hours of mucking around.
 
“I like to find weird things and make money from my woods, but only a society full of morons would shove its mineral wealth over a cliff.”
 
He has a good idea for the reuse of most of the  flowers he finds in Dumpsters.
 
“Only about 10 percent are wilted or crushed in some way. This particular business could easily separate out the unsellable flowers, keep vases of individual intact flowers at the cash registers, and offer them to every customer who wants one. That way they could justify the expense of culling the truly bad flowers into the compost while giving the intact ones new life as bonus goodies for their shoppers.
 
“In the moment of discovery, I love to find flowers here, because rummaging through dumpsters is usually a depressing business. But then I must reflect — how demented can America get, with its dumpsters full of flowers, its soil saturated in stupidity [and] flushed daily out to sea.”
 
Chemicals in soil washed into rivers into oceans ... and flowers in Dumpsters.
 
While we wait for the first day of spring, that’s food for thought. Here are a couple of thoughts:
 
'Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!
~William Wordsworth, "Lines Written in Early Spring," Lyrical Ballads, 1798
 
 
People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.  ~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

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