I was sitting near a window, eating lunch on Wednesday, when I noticed a large piece of cardboard skipping through the parking lot, going completely airborne every once in a while thanks to our lovely southwest Minnesota wind.
Not long before that, I was driving down Humiston Avenue and one of those annoying plastic bags was flying through the air at just the right height to land on my windshield. Thankfully, the wind was moving faster than my car, because by the time I reached that block, the bag was swiftly moving across someone’s front yard.
I suspect that when I get home from work, I’ll find all sorts of garbage that has blown into my yard and been trapped there by the chain-link fence. It seems to catch just about everything that gets carried by the wind.
I don’t mind the wind most days, except for when it makes my yard look like a garbage dump.
My fence has stopped everything from coffee cups and pop cans to fast-food containers, plastic bags and cardboard boxes. Just the other day, I found a grocery receipt that got my attention as I picked it up. The receipt showed some of the items were paid for with SNAP credit — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) — and when I looked at the list of groceries purchased, I saw nothing but junk food. Potato chips, candy and pop were on the list, but nothing you would think of as real food — fruits or vegetables, meat, bread or dairy products.
Needless to say, I am as disappointed in how people use SNAP credit as I am in the wind that blows garbage into my yard. I don’t know that I can do much about either, but I’d sure appreciate it if people wouldn’t toss their garbage on the sidewalk or just beyond the garbage receptacles in the neighborhood park.
This goes for country folks, too.
During the Nobles County Board meeting on Tuesday, Commissioner Marv Zylstra mentioned the garbage he sees in the road ditches now that the little bit of snow we had has melted. He encouraged community service groups — or anyone who wants to see a cleaner county — to help out by not just picking up the trash, but also by not littering in the first place.
Like Zylstra said, it doesn’t take much effort to keep that fast-food bag in your car until you get home and can throw it in your garbage.