Sunday, October 21, 2007

Recycling is Good Stewardship

I did not know that October 15 was Environmental Blog Roundup Day until I signed on the do this post.

This actually starts a couple of weeks ago, when I was in Target on a Sunday, doing some shopping... Those of you who know me will say "Target?" because I am a consummate Wal-Mart shopper, much to the chagrin of many of my family members. But, yes, I was at Target, mostly because the person for whom I was buying a gift is a consummate Target shopper. I can be flexible.

In the check out line, there where three women behind me. One somewhat older than myself, one in her middle aged era, and one probably in her twenties. The oldest of the three started talking about the fact that she did not believe the publicity about global warming, she did not think "we" were responsible for it, if it was happening, and she did not think automobiles contributed to it. The youngest of the three women in the group more or less agreed with her, and said something to the effect that why should we change our lifestyle if no one else is.

I did not say anything. I was thinking about my gas guzzling vehicle and my consumptive lifestyle, and felt there was little I could say to contribute meaningfully to their understanding of the fragility of our environment, and the ravages to which we subject it... I was thinking about "An Inconvenient Truth" and the list, at the end, of the very simple things each one of us can do to contribute to an improving environment. I was thinking about the fact that Bald Eagles were saved from extinction, and species like moose, white tailed deer, black bears and coyotes have increased their environment, learning to live with man. I was thinking about the fact that if they could adapt and adjust, why couldn't we? I was also thinking about the fact that so very many people who live on this Earth have access to so few resources, how could they be considered as contributing to a phenomenon like global warming? So, why should they be expected to change what they are doing to decrease their impact on global warming?

Needless to say, the words stayed with me, but I went on to doing other things in life and did not think much about those people, their doubts, and their absolute lack of concern.

Until today: I am getting ready to make a small trip, and that prompts me to clean out the garage: gather up the pile of recyclables and take them to the nearby recycling bins. As I was there, as often it happens, a couple of other folks came by. This is an interesting place and if someone were to want to do a social experiment, this might be an interesting place to interview people about their recycling habits and philosophies....

First to show up was a couple in a jeep type SUV. The back end was loaded with bags of recyclables. And, much as I used to do, they had to open each sack and wander up and down the rows of bins, putting the objects where they belonged. The gentleman was gregarious, and commented that they had waited too long. The women was just about getting things cleaned out of their vehicle.

The second couple who showed up was really the inspiration of my thinking: she was dressed nicely, including heels, which would catch in the broken pavement around the recycling bins (dumpsters, really.) He had what appeared to me to be a clerical collar, not a Catholic collar, but what I would describe as a "Christian collar." Their apparel, and the time of day, made me think that they had probably just left the Sunday religious services, and were making a stop at the recycling center before going home.

What this prompted in me were the thoughts that Recycling is Good Stewardship of the Earth... That recycling decreases the contents of landfills, and provides materials that can be made into or reused for products without having to acquire new resources from the Earth.

I am a big "History Channel" watcher, and have thoroughly enjoyed the shows that report on recycled products: glass, steel, rubber, other metals, paper, plastics. That is so fascinating to me. It makes me proud that I recycle, and angry that more people in Lubbock do not recycle. We used to have a "blue bag" program: recyclables could be bagged in blue plastic bags: they could be purchased, and some of the local stores used blue plastic bags. These blue bags could be placed on the dumpsters certain days, and they would be picked up. The "blue bag" days were posted on the dumpster: How much easier could recycling be: recyclables could be mixed, and put out like any other trash. But, the program was dropped due to lack of participation, and the cost was not justified by the cost savings realized by recycling... It is very sad that Lubbock is not more interested in Stewardship of the Earth.

I like, also, to hear about industries that are eco-friendly, recycle and in general try to be eco-responsible... Like the Subaru plant that advertises to be waste-free...

Anyway, I think recycling is one of the very Christian or spiritual things we all need to take more responsibility for... Good stewardship of the Earth is a spiritual responsibility to which we pay little attention.

Recycling comes in many forms. Running on TV right now is a series of commercials from Liberty Insurance: The commercial starts with a character who sees a good deed and then does a good deed. Each good deed is witnessed and the witness then performs a good deed, until the good deeds are recycled back to the initial character (presumably, a Liberty Insurance agent.) This philosophy of recycling good deeds is one my father taught us as we grew up... I have tried to perpetuate it through the years, sometimes more successfully than others, but with a thought to Christian values, good citizenship, and now, to recycling.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Baseball, baseball

Charlie Osgood used to say (I have not heard him in a very long time) "see you on the radio." I discovered recently that many of my age contemporary colleagues understand how wonderful it is to "watch" a baseball game on the radio: if there are good announcers, radio coverage gives you a thinking man's approach to baseball. I still love baseball. I have said it before....

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