In the mid-1980s, a local activist group in Wiscasset, Maine started the “Undump” campaign to promote the idea of recycling. I don’t think “Undump” was unique to coastal Maine towns. I remember wearing an “Undump” button and standing along side my aunt and mother at a local  information forum. I was in the 6th grade. Back then, they were called “protests.” That same year, we were assigned to design T-shirts as part of an anthology project at school. I chose “underwater exploration” as a theme. (Most of the other kids picked gruesome topics, e.g. suicide, teen suicide, drug addiction, crimes.) I designed some graphics then with a “protect water” theme.

The “Undump” thing died. Out of its ashes rose “Reuse. Reduce. Recycle.” with the classic circle of arrows.

Along those lines, “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) has been used to such an extent as to nullify the rationale behind its original intent. The people who use that argument, say, against the transportation of oil sands through the U.S. (a.k.a. “tar sands,” diluted bitumen) have been hammering decision-makers with the NIMBY reasoning. In my community, that argument just didn’t fly. I have grown tired of hearing it myself. I propose an alternative.

How about “Not On My Planet” (NOMP) and “Over My Dead Water Body” (OMDWB) as two possible catchy slogans to use instead of NIMBY?

“Over My Dead Water Body (OMDWB)” is especially relevant today in light of the recent national assessment of our streams and rivers in the U.S. Wetlands are against the ropes, too. I can see this on T-shirts, I don’t know about you. I’m going to work on some graphics for this. Back in 6th grade, our “Reading” teacher assigned us to design a T-shirt for a favorite book. For this, I illustrated an imagined scene loosely based on Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier–an image of a drowned Rebecca with eel grass ensnared in her legs and lingerie. (As it turned out, I was just as morbid as the other kids.) Somewhere, I still have that faded T-shirt, and the original drawing, too. If you have ideas about a graphic for OMDWB, leave a comment, please.