Recycle Yourself (don't count on "them" to do it)

It seems almost every time I turn on the radio, TV news, or glance at a newspaper there is some negative mention of the poor environmental policies of the George W. Bush administration. Everyone seems all up in arms about the way the president and his staff seem to have such little regard for trees, our water, the air we breathe and the earth in general.
I am not here to defend W or his people, but I would like to paraphrase the saying about the one finger pointing at someone else still leaves three pointing back at you in order to issue this challenge: “Don’t point your environmental finger at the current administration unless all your other fingers are busy doing what ever you can do yourself to save the environment.”
It is real easy to poke fun at the lumber companies for their terrible deforestation practices, but using less paper and re-cycling the paper that we have used seems to be beyond our grasp.
We can bleat ad nauseum about factories spewing junk into the air, but our cries are muffled by the starting of our car engines to drive us to the post office or errand that is 2-3 blocks away.
We decry the chemicals which may be in our drinking water and then we litter the countryside and the landfills with thousands of plastic water bottles, almost all of which can be recycled.
Huh? Yes, complainers I am talking to you.
Julie and I have a business in Lowell and one of the best services the City of Lowell offers is FREE curbside recycling every Tuesday. (We did give a $5 deposit for our orange recycling tub, but the weekly pick-up is at no cost.) The list of things that we can recycle would almost take up the rest of this column; office and newspaper, cardboard, clear class, and several kinds of plastic including the kind most water comes in are among the items we can recycle.
Here is my main point: I have yet to learn that the recycling truck is so overburdened on Tuesdays that they have to put in a 12 hour day or make several trips out here. Many Tuesday s go by when I do not see very many orange tubs by the curb. Should I surmise that no one is eating cereal, reading newspapers or magazines, drinking milk, juice or water anymore? Maybe I should surmise that it just represents too much effort to recycle; much less effort than it takes to complain about W and his crowd of earth destroyers, eh?
Do you like the ability to buy and drink pure water? Great, but don’t turn around and toss your recyclable container in the trash or on the street.
Every day I see people jump into their car, truck, or SUV to run an errand that is two or three blocks away. Walking to the post office or wherever would not only put less stress on the atmosphere, but it might even help us all be a little healthier to boot.
Should everyone quit pressing for better environmental policies from Washington? No, but we really ought to clean up our own act before we spend too much rhetoric bad mouthing “them”. Until we change our own habits, we are them.
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