Grandma, what is a trash can?

The child returned home puzzled. He had spent the day listening to his teacher explain how the world worked in the past. His head had been filled with unanswered questions.

– Grandma! What is a trash can?

Legitimate question for a child who has grown up in a world without waste.

– My grandson, as you know, “nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”, but unfortunately, this has not always been the way we lived. Today, what we buy at the store comes mainly from recycled objects and they will be recycled again, as in a circle where all objects return to infinity.

In my time, this was not the case. We did not understand the complete usefulness of objects. When we didn’t know what to do with them, we put them in a “trash can”. Items purchased at the store were like on a straight line, with a starting point and an end point. They were made with parts of nature and ended up in containers or plastic bags that were called “garbage cans”. Then, we emptied our garbage cans filled with objects that we thought were useless, in a “dump” where useless mountains accumulated. And as you can imagine, this had dramatic consequences for our environment.

The child’s eyes widened, he understood the definition, but not its origin.

Adélie Barbotin, 7th march 2080