27 July 2014

Rounding up Urban Tumbleweeds

Urban tumbleweeds (better known as plastic bags) ride like the wind because they ride the wind, but I recently roped a couple of these elusive objects.

Unlike regular tumbleweeds, which have a key place in American folklore and certain ecosystems, urban tumbleweeds have very few positives going for them. They are made of plastic and designed for a single use, and they litter the landscape and pollute the environment.

In fact, I may have had one of the only good experiences ever associated with an urban tumbleweed. On a trip last week, I found I had forgotten to bring a container for the remains of the fruit I'd brought and eaten. (I wanted to compost the pieces, but I wouldn't be able to do so for several days, so I needed something to put them in.) That's when an urban tumbleweed happened to fly by.

The airborne bag seemed like a good option for a makeshift compost container. However, with the wind blowing hard, I wouldn't be able to catch it without some help. Luckily, the bag caught on a bush. When I ran to get it, I found another plastic bag right next to it. That gave me a double-lined compost transport and took two urban tumbleweeds out of the environment, so this modern Western has a happy ending.

Well, at least, I got to ride off into the sunset with my compost.

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