“Think you can handle this?”

If you are an American TV viewer, the following may be a commercial familiar to you, though it is likely that it went right through you. While it may not have much impact on many people, other than possibly reminding them to take out the trash or pick up some more (likely non-bio-degrading) trash bags, I find it  highly alarming.  Take a look:

It’s a normal scene, right? A mom cleaning, and taking care of household business, even involving little Timmy. But what I see in this commercial, is a little boy, observing his mom callously throwing away food that has been allowed to rot in the fridge, and then even employing him in its removal from the kitchen. There is a lot wrong here. Beyond the waste, there is the silent lesson of showing the child how easy it is to get rid of waste, by merely throwing it in a bag, tying it up, and leaving it in the garage until someone else comes along to haul it to some never seen final destination – aka a landfill. The face of the innocent child, as his mom crams as much as she possibly can into her ultra strong and durable trash bag, is priceless. He is astounded, in his little way.

The best part however? This simple line from the mother to the child, as she hands over a bag so heavy he can barely even lift it:

“Think you can handle this?”

What a metaphor. 

Our future – the children of this world, are being handed our garbage ceaselessly. And when they are shown throughout their development, that dealing with waste is easy and virtually a birth right, they become part of the careless waste machine, buying things, letting them rot, and tossing them in a bag that is designed to hold that garbage for decades. If these youth are never introduced to alternatives, they will only show the same mistaken methods to their offspring, all while waste rots under the very soil that they walk upon, poisoning their food, air and water. Talk about a vicious cycle.

All of those thoughts from a mere 30 second spot.


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