Kat’s nude foods campaign was well underway. She was in the kitchen decanting bulk quantities of food into her new glass jars when Bill came in grinning. Kat was immediately suspicious.
Bill said, “Kat, I’ve realised you are right. We need to reduce waste to save the planet. Just like charity, saving the planet starts at home. We have so many things that could be donated to a good cause and used by others. I’ve been looking online and I’ve found lots of opportunities to do good and reduce our personal landfill at the same time.”
Kat was nervous, especially when she saw the box of trophies that Bill held.
“I’m starting with my old trophies. I heard Tiffany’s school fete committee was asking for old trophies. They spray paint them and sell them off for 50 cents each.”
Kat was horrified. “How will Tiffany know you were Best & Fairest in the Under 16s football team if you throw out the family heirlooms?”
“I’ll always be her best and fairest grandfather, and one day we can have space to play together here in the house. They’re my trophies and I think I have a right to decide where they go.”
Bill’s enthusiasm didn’t end there. He packed a bag with old eyeglasses. Kat had been saving them because you never know… if the current pair breaks, they’d have a spare, and if they need to go to a bad taste costume party they’d be useful, and after all, fashions come back, and they were very expensive.
Bill said, “Good grief, Kat. If you’re old enough to wear them the first time they’re in fashion, you’re too old to wear them the second time. These are off to my optometrist. Just think, someone will see again because of our old junk. Doesn’t that make you feel good?” He added the spectacle cases, cleaning cloths and bottles of cleaning solution to the bag as well.
But Kat did not feel good. This was all going too fast for her.
Bill was on a roll. “Kat, you’re going to love this one. There’s a charity called Share the Dignity and they’re doing a Handbags with Heart drive. You take your old handbags that you don’t use any more – and you have plenty of those – and fill them with things that ladies need. It’s for women who are homeless, and you know those things are expensive. Since you went through the change, you don’t need that stuff any more, and there’s heaps in the hall cupboard. Plus, our bathroom has way too many little soaps and toiletries. We can fill up the bags with those too.”
Before she knew it, Bill was in the bathroom, going through the cupboard and drawers. He called out, “Some of these medicines are way out of date. There’s a cough syrup from 1995!”
Kat replied, “You know those date things don’t mean a thing, Bill. It’s just a marketing ploy to get you to buy more stuff.”
“Ok, but these old tablets are going to the pharmacy for safe disposal.”
It seemed like nothing could stop him. Bill didn’t know the perfect home for everything, but he checked online for what he could take to his local transfer station and knew they could help him dispose of things properly.
So out they went, with protests from Kat at every step of the way:
- Some old books, including Introduction to the World Wide Web. Kat: “But we need to keep that for Tiffany!” Bill: “Tiffany will know her way around the world wide web before she can read that book.”
- Kylie’s old boom box she’d left behind when she moved out, and a stack of Dolly magazines. Kat: “Those are vintage.” Bill: “I’ll see if the op shop wants them for their antique section.”
- 6 seasons of Hey Hey It’s Saturday on home-recorded VHS tapes. Kat: “I think the video of Kylie’s wedding could be taped over one of those. We’ll have to wait till we have time to watch them all.” Bill: “I already had Kylie’s wedding video converted to DVD. Our video player’s broken. Which reminds me, I can get rid of that too, along with the old computer and the old wireless your dad gave us when we got married.” Kat: “But that was a gift!”
With a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step, Bill loaded up the car with all the donations. He was feeling very clever. As he left, he said, “Everyone’s a winner, Baby, that’s for sure. The environment, the people who can use this stuff and our home.”
“If everyone’s a winner, why do I feel so defeated?” Kat said as she slumped in her chair.
She summoned up the strength to go and make herself a cup of hot chocolate, but as she entered the kitchen, she stubbed her toe on a 10kg bag of rice. This saving the planet was becoming painful, in more ways than one.
Catch up on the past Adventures of Kat here…