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Why I hate garbage.

November 11, 2009

This fall, I read about kids in the South Bronx who suffer from serious health issues thanks to the 12,000 diesel trucks that roll through their neighborhoods, delivering food from faraway lands and lots and lots of garbage. 12,000 trucks — every day. And I can’t get the numbers out of my  head.

Picture a classroom of kids. Here in Minnesota, about 6-10% of those children suffer from asthma. Maybe 1 out of 10 kids.

A classroom in the South Bronx?

Roughly 21-23% of children have asthma.

Almost 1 in 4 kids.

And we’re talking “send-you-to-the-emergency-room, make-you-miss-days-of-school, hope-it’s-not-a-muggy-day-so-I-can-breathe” asthma.

Since I know asthma rates are higher for urban and lower-income kids, I asked Scott if he’s had any asthma incidents at summer camp over the past five years. I mean, with 100 kids a day, at least 10 of them are likely to have asthma. I figured he’d have a juicy story for me.

S: “Well, a lot of the kids have asthma. We know that because it’s on their registration forms.”

A: “But have you ever had to send anyone to the emergency room or had any close calls?”

S: “No. But think about where they are. They are surrounded by trees. They are at camp. In Shoreview.”

Aha.

This is why I hate garbage. This why I get mad about food from far far away. This is why we pursue something simpler. Something greener. Something better for everybody.

**********

There is a lot more information out there… like this stuff:

No Impact Man

New York Times: A Study Links Trucks’ Exhaust to Bronx Schoolchildren’s Asthma

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Gramma GG permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:05 pm

    Well said.
    Real lives.
    Real children.
    Really important.

    You’ll be glad to know Dad and I bought a reusable coffee filter for our high falooting coffee maker.
    Saves money.
    Saves single use plastic cups.
    Saves packaging.
    Now to buy “Fair Trade” coffee.

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