Now before you I tell you this story, I want to tell you that I have regrets. Mountains of regret that get up to eight inches of snow.
Six months ago I threw away a tuna fish tin.
I knew it was wrong. I knew I should rinse the tin thoroughly and place it firmly in the blue recycle bin. I blame the smell. It infiltrated my nostrils with such panache that my natural reaction was to get the tin as far away from me as possible. Please understand: I was not in control of my body.
And why is it tuna has such an unreasonable, insurmountable smell, and yet has such a delicate and wonderful flavour?
My guilt was immediate. But as I stared at the tin in the bin, my stomach gurgled and my attention shifted back to making a tasty tuna sandwich.
For a perfect tuna fish sandwich every time, I always use Oceans solid white, dolphin-friendly tuna. I flake it with a fork, add a half-cup mayonnaise, one tablespoon of dill (fresh or dried: you decide), and salt and pepper to taste. My husband enjoys his in melt with cave-aged cheese (like me, he refuses to eat cheese that has not been aged in a cave).
My husband took the trash out after lunch, without hesitation or a reminder. When the door slammed, the guilt hit me like a ton of bricks. The tuna tin was in the garbage bag, and the garbage bag was going to giant waste bin. And the waste bin would soon be hoisted into a garbage truck, and would be going straight to the nearest landfill.
It takes 100 years for a tin can to even begin the biodegrade process. My tuna fish tin would be taking up space in a landfill for at least the next century.
I raced to the elevator, pushing the “down” button frantically, every second closer to the tin’s too-long farewell. The door opened and there stood my husband, hands in his pockets, whistling a jaunty tune. He didn’t realize the atrocity that he had just participated in. The garbage bag gone, ergo the tin was gone.
I will spend the rest of my life trying to un-do the damage I caused by tossing that tin. I hereby swear to: use fabric bags, buy local, use dish detergent without petroleum, stop killing pink dolphins, wash my clothes with an energy-efficient washer and dryer, stop buying a full-length fur coat each season, brew fair-trade coffee, and use public transport more than occasionally.
I know what you’re thinking: Yeah, yeah, yeah… recycle and all that! But it’s true. This is our planet and we are responsible for it.
That tuna tin still haunts me: in my thoughts and in my dreams. It even visited me three times on Christmas Eve.