What Your Garbage Says About You

Have you ever thought about what your garbage says about you?

Many years ago, on a trip to Disney World, my friend and I noticed an employee emptying trash bins in one of the restaurants. Calculating the amount of trash on a typical person’s tray, the number of people in that room, the number of places to eat on site, other sources of trash, and the number of people who go through that one park each day, we were instantly overwhelmed by the amount of trash that must be hauled from that park every day.  Even bigger numbers arise when you think about big cities.

This was on my mind recently because these days I usually only have one small grocery-bag of garbage at the curb each week. I am happy with my environmental footprint.

So I got to thinking (because that’s what over-analyzers do best), and came up with these results:

What: What is in my garbage can?

  • Rinds and skins of fruits and vegetables mean I am putting good things into my body and treating my Temple with respect
  • McDonald’s wrappers – not so much respect for the Temple

How: How much garbage do I generate?

  • Minimal food in the garbage means I am being a good steward of the money and food God has provided by buying and/or preparing what I will eat and consuming leftovers before they spoil
  • The occasional big styrofoam pieces might mean I got something really good! 😉

Where: Where am I putting this material?

Here in Onondaga County, we have a great recycling program. The county provides free “Blue Bins” in which you place recyclable paper, plastic, and metals. It gets picked up on trash day by a separate truck. Instead of sending all that material to landfills, it gets recycled. Warms my heart.


  • If I put recyclable material in my trash can instead of the blue bin, I am adding to the amount of waste dumped into the environment

Why: Why should I care?

Every week I am thankful for the people who collect our trash. I am thankful that we have a convenient venue to dispose of unwanted materials so we can keep our homes and neighborhood clean.

In a way, this all reminds me of what God does for us. Every time we come to him with our trash (sins), he takes them away. Some he destroys and forgets. Others he recycles into something new.

Some of us have way too much stuff that we keep around and should purge a few bags of excess material. It is not healthy to let trash or sins accumulate. We should be purging both regularly. We should also be mindful of what we take in to our homes and minds. Is it beneficial or harmful? Is it necessary or frivolous? If the latter in either case, we should not even bring it home.

We all have trash in our homes and sin in our lives. The key is to think about how and why we are generating that trash, and to modify our thoughts, words and actions to reduce our environmental and spiritual footprint. Are we feeding our bodies and minds the proper nutrients? That means healthy, raw foods for our bodies and Bible study for our spirit. It is fine to have a treat or watch an entertaining movie, as long as we have a solid foundation of “good stuff.”

So, take a look in the can. What are you bringing home? Do you need to do some spring cleaning?

What does your garbage say about you?

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10 Responses to What Your Garbage Says About You

  1. Thank you for this very practical application! I often remind my children (in view of the condition of their bedrooms) that God is not a god of disorder or confusion. Sadly, that is the current condition of our garage. Your post is prompting me to remedy that situation.

  2. Rebecca says:

    It is great to see you posting!! (small pun… you will see)
    We recycle all food except meat and bones in the garden recycle. It makes great compost for our veggie garden and flowers. Because we use a big black bin we don’t have mice looking for the food. The heat generated in the bin reduces the food to rich dark compost. Oh, our grass cuttings and leaves are composted too. 😀

    • Michele says:

      Oh, composting, that is a great idea!!
      Saw your LPM comment about the difficulties of coming from Canada. Beth is not coming to the northeast at all this year. 😦 Do you think you’ll come down to an event someday?

      • Rebecca says:

        Sorry Michele,
        Going anywhere is out of our budget. I don’t know how people do it. (travel)
        If I don’t have the cash I don’t need it and some people use credit for their wants. I’ll just keep listening to Beth on the TV or sometimes I might be close to a simulcast!
        Can’t wait for spring. How about you?

      • Michele says:

        I am the same way most of the time, if I don’t have the cash, I won’t buy it. Sometimes I do make an exception. I went to Deeper Still last December because I needed a vacation and God time, so there I got both. I am hoping to go to another event, but idk when or where yet. Simulcasts are great because you get a feeling of it and the message at a fraction of the price.

        Totally ready for spring! How cold does it get where you are? Do you get a lot of snow? We got quite a bit this year so far.

  3. That was a really good example. You are so right. We do not need to allow the sin (garbage) collect. When we allow that the enemy then has a foot hold and will use that to his advantage. Again great post.


  4. Jon says:

    You have a way of coming up with some great, practical insights! You should really think about the MDiv/DMin at NES and start your own outreach ministry, much like Beth. These are the types of insights and applications that make people think “hmmm, I’ll have to think about that.”


  5. Kelly S. says:

    Great application Michele, and so glad to read a post from you 🙂 Today is the first day in two weeks that I have had some time to think through my trash (sins). Glad to have had this to read. I still have had my QT everyday, buy my life has been so crazy. Thankful to have some down time for a week or two.
    Here in the “boonies”, we don’t have any kind of trash pick up. We have to haul everything off to specified spots throughout the county. There are some small recycle bins at these spots, but they are not much help. Im thinking this morning “what does my clutter” say about me. Many things I need to go through and trash that have accumulated the last two weeks. Since we have to haul it off it takes some extra effort. No time like the present.

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