Tag Archives: environment

Recycling

22 Jun

I’m dubious about how much recycling actually helps the environment. I suspect the process is more about getting people to THINK about the environment, help individuals realize what impact one person can have if they only try to do a little something (or when they don’t), and the alleviation of guilt through an attempt to take responsibility.

I don’t have any statistics about recycling (yet) so I can’t really SAY how much impact it may or may not have in the long run. I can tell you I purchased “The Skeptical Environmentalist” by the controversial Bejorn (or however it’s spelled) Lomborg and am most excited to read it. I’ll have to make that a priority before school commences in the fall.

What I DO know about recycling is that it’s a pain. Sorting it takes a lot of space in my small apartment and in the complex’s tiny trash area. Paying to take it to get recycled as you have to in Northern NV would also be a no-go.  Just ask all the people that don’t even pay to take their TRASH to the dump, instead dumping it in the desert.  When you look at problems like that (and pollution from cars and industry, water getting dirtied, chemical-resistant farming, and 3rd world country completely unethical and unregulated agriculture/industry–well, washing your recyclables seems like a minute, nit-picky first-world crises. Especially, when I’m fairly certain it’s all autoclaved and melted down anyway.

In Seattle, throwing things in the trash is criminal.  Some do-gooder will yell at you if you even think about trying it.  It was actually Seattle’s severe, libertine mentality about recycling that turned me against the practice. For one of my chores throughout my childhood was crunching cans. And though I didn’t really drink soda myself, my parents gave me plenty of cans to keep busy. Also, one of my platforms (OK– my main and only platform) when I ran for student body president of my intermediate school was starting a recycling program–which I successfully implemented and they still use today thank-you-very-much. But the levels–and morals–attached to recycling is ridiculous to me.

I have heard many, many times:

1}  Did you throuw THAT away?! With implication that I’m a shit head because that is recyclable.

2}  I have also heard–“That goes in the other bin.”  Who the eff can tell what bin or what plastic code goes where?  I mean, really, if you want the world to recycle–make it easy.  Or at least make it make SENSE. Make it too difficult and I’m just going to throw it in the trash–no question then.

3} Thirdly, I have heard grumbles about–At LEAST rinse that out!”  As mentioned above, eff you, on that.  It’s not happening.

4}  “You need to SORT your recyclables!”  No cardboard in the cans.  No lids on the glass.  No tape on the brokendown boxes.  Puh-leeze.  Again–make it too hard, and I’m just going to throw the whole damn (dirty) thing, intact, and in the garbage can.

Hate me if you will.  But I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Stereotyping Works?! GRE issue essay–>part lost count

11 May

“The way people look, dress, and act reveals their attitudes and interests. You can tell much about a society’s ideas and values by observing the appearance and behavior of its people.”

The question of whether or not it is appropriate and successful to confer a person’s inner ideas and values through glancing at their clothes or noticing their public actions is a very relevant one.   Implying we can note everything about a person within minutes of meeting them is somewhat problematic for any marginalized population.  An unfinished thought–why?  Because people may  jump to the wrong conclusions without analyzing an abundance of information, that view is sometimes criticized.  Sure, inferring information through quick, superficial means, is not one hundred percent accurate, but it does do justice to the subject’s internal motivations a good majority of the time.  Though looking at only the most surface aspects of people can lead to incorrect assumptions, I believe in the other side of this argument:  Superficial stereotypes do indeed belie much of society’s ideas and values.

Firstly, I agree with the latter opinion, because I see how pervasive media influence is in society.  Probably the biggest succesful example of how we are able to look at simple things and glean good internal information is the way media conveys what the United States is all about.  The media is like a mirror that reflects back what a population wants to see.  Good sentence.  If television, news, and advertising did not present images that the majority of the population did not find acceptable it would not last very long financially.  Awkwardly written b/c it’s the neg–make more readable in pos form ie media presents what we wanna see, because its funding depends on viewer-ship.  [Because the media has to depend on money, it shows society what society wants to look at.  This is the most dramatic example of gleaning information through superficial means.  redundant]  America is beginning to embrace a more environmental outlook, and it can be seen in many media forms.  We have “green” information commercials on NBC, one of the largest broadcasting corporations, and the auto manufacturers are making energy efficient cars.  come up w/better exp–or at least tie these 2 together better.  It is no accident that media portrays a larger, more superficial image of our country’s belief systems.

Secondly, good transition/listing words this time.  I think the statement that people are capable of seeing how a person will be based on looks and mannerisms, because we have to depend on this method frequently.  Job interviews, for example rely almost entirely on snippets of a person’s attire, conversation skills, and attitudes.  A person that goes into an interview with unwashed hair and ripped jeans may not care about their physical appearance.  It would more than likely correct to assume they were not well-suited for a job selling apparel.  Sometimes we have to depend on more external features of a person to get a feel for their motivations and ethics.

Finally, concluding a person’s internal motivations by seeing their outside traits is appropriate because as much as we do not like to admit it, this is a natural behavior for people.  In cave man days, we had to quickly ascertain if animals or other people were a threat for our own survival.  As such we evolved to be able to perceive face shapes, body language, and other superficial qualities and process them as good or bad.  Expand by saying full, round faces are seen as non-threatening, or palms up = friendly vs quick hand motions = aggressive.  Because we have held on to this trait, it is still widely employed, and successful.  As humans, we want to categorize things quickly, so looking and sensing superficial aspects about a person to quickly interpret their ideas and values is natural. Again, a redundant point.

It is difficult to admit that much of what we see upon first meeting someone can translate to their deeper feelings and attitudes.  This method of perceiving is not politically correct, nor is it something we want to admit to employing. Not only does everyone wants to feel like a unique individual, but the assumptions can be detrimental to minority populations as it relies on stereotypes and dehumanizes them.  When we do not see humanity as a group of individuals and treat them as such, it can give way to prejudice and negative consequences.  Yes, it is natural to us to categorize people according to mostly ture assumptions based on surface facts, but we should try get to know every person instead.

3:00 PM

brainstorm til 3:09 PM

intro and conclusion til 3:25 PM

3:46 finished–NO TIME FOR EDITING, sigh. . .

Who Knew?! Repost from Progressive Blogic

3 May

Here are some startling and downright scary facts from dirtworks.net andpeoplepoweredmachine.com  about the amount of pollution produced by our gas powered lawn toys, such as mowers, snow blowers, leaf-blowers, and weed-wackers.

  • According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), gas powered lawn mowers represent 5% of U.S. Air Pollution.
  • One hour of mowing is the equivalent of driving 350 miles in terms of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • One gas mower spews 87 lbs. of the greenhouse gas CO2, and 54 lbs. of other pollutants into the air every year.
  • Over 17 million gallons of gas are spilled each year refueling lawn and garden equipment – more oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
  • Each year, Americans use 800 million gallons of gasoline keeping their yards tidy.
  • Garden equipment engines, which have had unregulated emissions until very recently, emit high levels of carbon monoxide, VOC’s and NOx producing up to 5% of the nation’s air pollution and a good deal more in metropolitan areas.
  • According to the EPA, a traditional gas powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars each being driven 12,000 miles (emphasis added).
Graphic c/o EPA and peoplepoweredmovement.com

To me, the other factor is the annoying and likely unhealthy noise pollution that is generated from these high-powered machines.  There are times during the summer where you cannot carry on a normal conversation in the house, if our windows are open when a riding mower is operating next door.

Below is some data about the not-so-green aspects of leaf blowers from ecocycle.org:

A 2000 report by the California EPA determined that the average residential leaf blower produces 145 times more hydrocarbons, 7.5 times more carbon monoxide, and 11 times more particulate matter in one hour than a 1999-2000 light duty vehicle driven at 30 mph, getting 15 miles to the gallon. The hydrocarbon emissions produced from one-half hour of residential leaf blower operation are equal to the emissions produced from driving 2200 miles, comparable to a round trip from Denver to San Diego. Commercial leaf blowers with more horse power are even more polluting.

Snow blowers present mush the same problem for those of use in northern latitudes, unless you are like me and you prefer to torture your back all winter – forced exercise I call it, but I doubt sure my back would agree.

Nobody Cares About Trash in the Desert (initially posted 5-15-09)

31 Dec

It seems nobody cares enough to DO anything!  I have extensively tried to contact some eagency in hopes of putting the kabash on the cabal of people who are dumping their trash in the desert.  I would think someone, whether it be the public or the government would give a damn, but they don’t.  There was no coterie who wanted to help the situation–everyone just pushed the responsibility on to some other group.  There is not just a little trash in the middle of the desert, we’re talking broken glass, entire truckloads of garbage, and even sea-dos and cars! I’m not the only one who goes out there, either. Everytime I go running, I see other people walking, hiking, runing, and riding bikes and motorcycles. I find it appalling that there is no clique trying to fight for the environment, no mob who wants to keep our community beautiful.  For drammatic effect:  If people don’t care for any other reason, at least a ring of citizens should consider this is right next to a veterinary hospital, public park, and an elementary school–save the children and the animals!!!  The circle of businesses (ironically including the dump) is directly affected.  Who is in charge, and why aren’t they doing anything???

Dear Governor Gibbons,

I grew up in Dayton, attending school from kindergarten to my senior year here.  I love this community and would like it to remain beautiful.  I am writing because I am very concerned about the trash that gets thrown in the desert.  I know I am not alone in this endeavor and there is a clan of people who also want to keep nature intact in Dayton.

Just outside Mark Twain Park, on Roughing It Road, less than 3 miles from the city waste disposal plant, Lyon County’s beauty is marred.  A cabal of people are dumping truckloads of garbage, old machinery, and even cars!  I like to run on the trails in that area, as do many other people, and was quite appalled to see the sheer amount of waste on our land.   I have witnessed pick-ups driving in the desert with loads of trash and coming back to Six Mile Canyon Road or Highway 50 with an empty truck bed. It seems, nothing can be done to stop them.

I called waste management, parks & recreation, and other numbers that those entities referred me to.  I got the impression this situation isn’t under anyone’s jurisdiction.  I am planning to organize my own trash pick up on May 30, since other community service groups only serve Washoe County and Carson City.  No government organization could even offer me free trash bags or gloves to borrow.  The whole situation is very frustrating!  I feel like no one cares enough to help the situation.

I would like consequences for that small in-group of people that dump in the middle of the desert, maybe a “no dumping” sign posted on the premises, and support (in the form of gloves to borrow, trash bags, and a dump site discount) for other proactive people wanting to pick up the trash.

Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,
Lavrel L5hl

Nix the Red and Pink. . . And Save some Green [posted 2-10-09]

17 Jan

You’ve heard all of my arguments against the vestige that is Valentine’s Day.  I write the blog year after year, trying to convince my readers not to celebrate such a foolish relic of a day. . .  Go back and read the yearly blog—the points are still valid.

Maybe you STILL love the day.  You don’t care that’s it’s cliché’, trite, and shallow, you will celebrate anyway.  Let me try a different angle.  Valentine’s Day and other stupid holidays are bad for the environment!  Here are some creative ideas to limit your environmental impact, not to mention get off of MY nerves.

You just finished slaughtering pine trees only to throw the remnants away in the post-Christmas cleaning frenzy—do you really need to kill flowers too?!  All those overpriced roses?  Yeah, you killed a plant to celebrate your love—not the coolest.  Instead why don’t you GIVE a tree to your lover?  If you don’t like that idea, you could PLANT a rose instead of giving a bouquet.  Growing something is something you can both enjoy for years to come, and it benefits the environment.  You could also put money towards the dwindling rainforest, plant something in a local park, or buy carbon emissions, though that’s kind of a cheater’s way of offsetting our pollution.

Chocolate, cards, candy, and other trace trinkets are (let’s face it) lame and cost a fortune.  THIS is also the reason why Valentine’s Day is advertised and promoted so much.  Do you even keep these remaining “treasures?”  They also tend to come in plastic packaging that ends up in landfills and take eternity to break down.  I suggest forgoing all of this crap—and plant a little herb or organic vegetable garden together.  That’s more original, allows you two to spend quality time, and saves money in the long run.  You may also yield some stellar eatings that last way beyond February.  Cook a romantic meal from your garden, gasp, in April when we don’t have a “love holiday,” and all the expectations that go with it.  To take it even further, take a quiet and romantic walk with your beau.  Pick up trash along your path—you will feel much better than you would just by giving meaningless presents and dropping a fortune on an expensive dinner.  Or at least make artwork or a scrapbook out of the friggin’ candy packaging and eat your damn leftovers from your hackneyed candle-lit dinner, sigh. . .

The worst of all?  Stuffed animals and balloons!  It’s horrible when you have to parade around with your stuff, trying to make everyone jealous and rub this horrible day in everyone’s faces.  If your balloon flies off (maybe at the hands of an envious, single lady?) or after you’ve thrown it away, it is detrimental to the Earth.  It can kill birds and whatever else.  Awful!  Instead of being obnoxious, why don’t you and your sweetie volunteer at a soup kitchen, senior citizen’s home, or a hospital.  Besides being able to show your love to some REAL sad-sacks, you may even come to realize that Valentine’s Day is pretty superficial when you see some real NEED in the world.

All my ideas will really DO something for the Earth.  An unintentional side-effect is the savings.  These ideas are imaginative ways of spending time with your love, showing them you care, and on the cheap!  It also is more original and meaningful and shows longevity and confidence in your relationship—which is what we’re really celebrating on the 14th isn’t it?  Besides, all of MY ideas limit the loathsome, superficial, petty, excessive things about Valentines day.  We ALL win!….

Nix the Red & Pink. . . And Save Some Green [Anti-Valentine’s #3]

10 Feb

You’ve heard all of my arguments against Valentine’s Day.  I write the blog year after year, trying to convince my readers not to celebrate such a foolish day. . .  I’m still surprised so much of the world embraces this day without hesitance.  I find the entire thing appalling, but my denunciations on Hallmark’s holiday, Febreuary 14th have created much controversy.  It isn’t my opinions that should be refuted, it’s a world that defends such a superficial guise and calls it a holiday celebrating love.  Polemic or not, go back and read the yearly blog—the points are still valid.

Maybe you STILL love the day.  You have celebrated it (because society told you to) for this many years and it is your usual routine now.  You don’t care that’s it’s cliché’, trite, and shallow, you will celebrate anyway.  Let me try a different angle.  [Listen up Seattle] Valentine’s Day and other stupid holidays are bad for the environment!  Here are some creative ideas to limit your environmental impact, not to mention get off of MY nerves.

You just finished slaughtering pine trees only to throw them away in the post-Christmas cleaning frenzy—do you really need to kill flowers too?!  If we will trees and plants for every holiday we will thin our resources to the point of our own extinction.  Anyway, who needs all those overpriced roses?  Yeah, you killed a plant to celebrate canvas twirlie treeyour love—not the coolest. Instead why don’t you GIVE a tree to your lover?  If you don’t like that idea, you could PLANT a rose instead of giving a bouquet.  That plant would be far less commonplace in your yard and have less superficial overtones than a store-bought, spray-painted bouquet that you paid double for, only to die (the rose, but maybe a little piece of you too?) during the month.  Growing something is something you can both enjoy for years to come, and it benefits the environment.  Face it, loving your spouse has very little to do with making crops sparser, right?!  You could also put money towards the dwindling rain-forest, plant something in a local park, or buy carbon emissions, though that’s kind of a cheater’s way of offsetting our pollution.

Chocolate, cards, candy, and other little trinkets are (let’s face it) lame and cost a fortune.  THIS is also the reason why Valentine’s Day is advertised and promoted so much.  Do you even keep these “treasures?”  They also tend to come in plastic packaging that ends up in landfills and take eternity to break down.  I suggest forgoing all of this Lana Markscrap—and plant a little herb or organic vegetable garden together.  That’s more original, allows you two to spend quality time, and saves money in the long run.  You may also yield some stellar eatings that last way beyond February.  Cook a romantic meal from your garden, gasp, in April when we don’t have a “love holiday,” and all the expectations that go with it.  To take it even further, take a quiet and romantic walk with your beau.  Pick up trash along your path—you will feel much better than you would just by giving meaningless presents and dropping a fortune on an expensive dinner.  Or at least make artwork or a scrapbook out of the friggin’ candy packaging and eat your damn leftovers from your hackneyed candle-lit dinner, sigh. . .

The worst of all?  Stuffed animals and balloons!  It’s horrible when you have to parade around with your stuff, Maizy paintingtrying to make everyone jealous and rub this horrible day in everyone’s faces.  If your balloon flies off (maybe at the hands of an envious, single lady?) or after you’ve thrown it away, it is detrimental to the Earth.  It can kill birds and whatever else.  Already V-Day kills plants, must we attenuate the animal kingdom in the name of love as well???  Awful! Instead of being obnoxious, why don’t you and your sweetie volunteer at a soup kitchen, senior citizen’s home, or a hospital. Besides being able to show your love to some REAL sad-sacks, you may even come to realize that Valentine’s Day is pretty superficial when you see some real NEED in the world.

All my ideas will really DO something for the Earth.  An unintentional side-effect is the savings.  These ideas are imaginative ways of spending time with your love, showing them you care, and on the cheap!  You can have a less quotidian Valentine’s Day in favor of something more original and meaningful and shows longevity and confidence in your relationship—which is what we’re really celebrating on the 14th isn’t it?  Besides, all of MY ideas limit the loathsome, superficial, petty, excessive things about Valentines day.  We ALL win!….

Enhanced by Zemanta