Saturday, October 10, 2015

Preserving the earth: not just for rich people

Some guy named John Tierney writes an article denouncing recycling every 10 years or so in the New York Times. The last one is here. Now I admit, I've sometimes wondered whether the garbage powers-that-be every really do anything with the mess we give them in the blue bins. But that's not what offended me in Tierney's latest offering.

What offended me was this:

... it’s popular in affluent neighborhoods like Park Slope in Brooklyn and in cities like San Francisco, but residents of the Bronx and Houston don’t have the same fervor for sorting garbage in their spare time.

Actually, just about everywhere I've ever traveled, the locals were eager to reduce and avoid spreading garbage across the landscape. Now maybe they are just catering to tourists, but I think everyone prefers to live in a clean environment if they can.

Some examples:
On the Hawaiian island of Kauai, there's a gentle admonition.

In a Chilean national park in Patagonia, the order is more formal.

It didn't seem likely that anyone ever emptied these bins in the Argentine town of El Chaltain, but someone thought it worthwhile to put them there.

On the trail toward Mount Everest base camp, Nepal posts formal rules and procedures.

In the town of Trevelez in the foothills of Spain's Sierra Nevada Mountains, there's a public collection point for cooking oil as well as municipal recycling!

Bhutan is a didactic sort of country. At Tango Monastery, there's no hesitation about instruction ...

That's also true on the trail to the Tiger's Nest monastery, just in case you didn't know how to behave ...

No, Mr. Tierney, concern for preserving the environment is not just a hobby for a few rich people. We -- none of us -- either always know how nor always can be as careful of our surroundings as we might want to be. But given a chance, we'll try, and eagerly at that.


Hattie said...

I thought that article was appalling.

Elliott said...

An acquaintance of mine from childhood delightedly tosses his Coke can into the trash bin, rather than the adjacent recycling bin just to poke all you eco warriors in the eye. I will never ever understand that assholean mentality.

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