Blog Action Day 2007
On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future. — Blog Action Day
This will be pretty interesting for me, since I may mention the environment, but devoting an entire day’s worth of posts to the topic seems pretty daunting. But maybe I’ll get lucky and it won’t be a very chatty day today. 😉
One of the first things that came to mind this morning was the idea of caring, just plain giving a damn about the environment. During my walk to the metro and my ride in and my stop at Starbucks, I realized that while scare tactics are the preferred method of waking people up, a better solution would be to get people to care about what happens to themselves along with their fellow man. I observed about 20 or so people doing the “head shake” today as a silent means of expressing their anger and frustration with being, from their perspective, put out. Whether it was being cut off heading into a train, stuck behind someone in traffic or taking what they thought was too long to be served their coffee.
I know it’s a very small environmental effect, but would people litter as much if they really thought about everyone else that had to walk past that piece of trash? It brings to mind thoughts of the Iron Eyes Cody’s “Crying Indian” character. I pick up and toss out trash along the sidewalk, but I also have paper towels and sanitized wipes with me at the same time, but even that doesn’t seem enough since I don’t carry extra bags with me to take stuff home to recycle. It starts to hit me that one caring person out of tons of strangers can only make so much of a difference.
And recycling is something you just gotta do, even when you know that most of “recycled” items just get thrown into the trash anyway. When I first worked at the EPA’s main office about 10 years ago, there was no recycling program in the office, people printed out tons of documents they didn’t need. Just about everyone’s worked with the guy/girl that has to print out every e-mail they get no matter how large or small, right? They threw out tons of paper on a daily basis. So finally we implemented recycling! Everyone got little blue caddies that fit on the side of their trash cans and people were encouraged to put their non-sensitive paper documents in there. It seemed to work out really well, until one evening I was working late and saw the cleaning crew come through, dump out the trash, and then dump the recycling into the same bin as the trash. I made a few inquiries, albeit carefully as I was a contractor, and got a range of shrugs about it, as if there was nothing they could do. 10 years later at my current job, I’m hearing that the exact same thing happens after we’re gone for the day, as if recycling to the Federal Gov’t is just a PR move and nothing more.
I’m not as good as Serial Mom with separate bins for recycling in the kitchen, but I do try. My liquor and soda bottles are rinsed and bagged up, my papers and junk mail tied up and my cans crushed and ready. I have no clue if my condo actually recycles out of the bins, but I have to keep hoping. As a born hoarder, 2 out of 3 of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle concept are pretty hard for me to stick to, but I’ve been doing a lot better lately.
The Blog Action Day site has a page of environmental resources, and over the day I’ll try to post some links that I’ve found that are a big help to me and others in the area. If you have a blog, I hope you’ll use it to spread the word today. And don’t mind my senseless crunchy-granola-hippie-dippy-earth-first-go-green rambling today, it will all be over soon and I’ll go back to bitching about people in my way on the metro and the Starbucks baristas messing up my orders. 🙂
Random Green Link — I don’t know of any community gardens near me, but Aveeno is holding a mini-essay contest for a neighborhood garden makeover.