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Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeCommentaryOpen Forum: An Ode to the Dump

Open Forum: An Ode to the Dump

The author's view while writing her "Ode to the Dump." (Photo by Corinne Van Rensselaer)
The author’s view while writing her “Ode to the Dump.” (Photo by Corinne Van Rensselaer)

A reflection while sitting on the beach after a sunset swim at Secret Harbour:

Ode to The Dump

I see you

from my spot

across the sacred water

almost regal in stature

like table mountain

with a small “t”

growing daily

accumulating our sorry waste

who cares?

we care

we say

we care

when it’s on fire

breathing out toxic waste

into our lungs

our babies’ lungs

our children’s lungs

our pets’ lungs

our plants’ lungs

across our island



the detritus

from our homes

right back

into our homes

whence it came

oh we care

but not enough

build it higher

more more

let’s feed it more sorry waste

food waste

plastic waste

styrofoam waste

construction waste

car waste

furniture waste

clothing waste

glass waste

toxic waste

served up

a meal that festers

on our table mountain

buffet piled high

on the fragile plates

of catastrophe

who cares?

— Corinne Van Rensselaer, Sept. 14, 2023

Ways to care:

— Pick up trash in your neighborhood, and don’t add to it.

— Reduce food waste in your home. Buy less, waste less.

— Stop buying single use plastic.

— Pick a few days each week to eat “whole food plant-based” meals.

— Re-use, repair, re-purpose whenever possible.

— Compost at home, or at a neighbor’s or community garden.

— Take your own reusable plates and cutlery to beach parties.

— Plant a tree every month.

— Support and partner with environmental initiatives in your communities.

— Look after your own health, so that you can help others.

— Reduce your purchases of processed foods.

— Conserve energy in your home, whenever possible.

— Buy clothes at thrift stores.

— Reduce your household garbage to one bag per person per week. It’s doable!

— Corinne Van Rensselaer is a 41-plus year resident of St. Thomas.

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