Monday, February 15, 2010

Craft/Writing Prompt--What's in the Trash

When I lived in Germany, our region instituted some stringent recycling rules in order to cut down on the amount of trash that was being collected and deposited in landfills. Food wrappers fell into the category of items to be washed and recycled, and suddenly, people began bringing their Tupperware to the deli counter in the supermarket to hold their weekly order of sliced ham instead of having the butcher wrap it in waxed paper. One day, as I rolled my garbage bin to the curb, I met my neighbor doing the same and we struck up a conversation about the time-consuming task of sorting through our debris. It turned out that she was washing the paper that her butter had been packaged in, in order to recycle it. It was one of those telling details that says so much about a personality, and I tucked it away.

You can learn a lot about a character by what she throws away. Describe the contents of someone's trash as a way of revealing something significant about him or her.

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