Sometimes, when I throw stuff in the trash or separate something that’s part cardboard and part unrecyclable plastic I’ll imagine that they’re close friends being separated forever.
The cardboard will cry out, “I love you! I always have! We’ll meet again in the afterlife!”
And the plastic is like, “There is no afterlife for me, you beautiful fool! You will be remade into a Trader Joe’s grocery bag and fall in love with a lemon chicken and arugula salad, but I’ll spend spend a hundred thousand years next to a plastic-wrapped, poo-filled diaper that over time grows into a mutant sludge. The sludge will eventually break free to pursue its lifelong dream of starting a comic book franchise. Farewell forever.”
Whenever this happens I back slowly away from the garbage can and apologize to the earth.