Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Responsible Living Roadblocks Where You Live

If you've been following the craziness that is the Morris world in the last six months, you know that we have recently moved to Tennessee from Colorado. It has been an adjustment in a lot of ways, almost all good adjustments, but there are some challenges. Now, Colorado has a reputation for being fairly sustainable and earth friendly, and well, the "south" really in a lot of ways does not have that reputation. I've been pleasantly surprised at how responsible our immediate environment has been in Nashville, but there still are some roadblocks.

So far, I feel challenged to live sustainably where we live and I am torn between if it is something about living in this part of the country or the type of living situation we have now. Let me share my inner struggles...

I want to recycle, but our condo building does not have recycling, just garbage pick up. Blame Living Situation!
My solution: I have found more public recycling bins down the area that I "covertly" dump a bag here and there in or drive over to the recycling center to drop it off. One of our grocery stores has separate bins for plastic, aluminum, etc that I will use, but it is hard to remember to take this stuff over. I mentally have this on my list of things to research for the building, because I've heard other people voice this need for recycling pick up as well. It could be an easy solution...(i hope)

I want to recycle glass in my covert recycling efforts, but the local recycling pick up service won't accept glass. Blame the city!
My solution: avoid glass? collect glass up in my small home until I have a good enough amount to take to recycling center? I'm still working on a solution to this one that makes sense in our full life.

I cringe every time I throw paper out at work. Blame workplace environments!
I know that even in Colorado this was a problem, and it bothered me there too. A lot of small businesses just see recycling as another expense to add to their long list - or are too busy running their business to think about it. If there is non-confidential information on a sheet, I will take those papers home to use for basic printing needs at home. I also cut up the sheets into quarters and use as note-paper instead of sticky-notes.

I want to bike to work since I'm so close! Blame the south!
I tried this once so far and it worked ok, but if the day was any hotter I would have been too sweaty to feel good about being at work. Blame humidity! I guess this will be a winter pasttime now that I live in Tennessee.

Nashville seems really progressive and actually very similar in urban mentality as other places I've experienced, but it's interesting to see roadblocks to living sustainably that you never even thought about had you never lived there. Not that these roadblocks are excuses. There are roadblocks all over the world for living responsibly: no matter where you live.

I believe we are stewards of this earth and therefore should take care the resources we have been given. Plain and simple. I may not always succeed in this and often times, yes, I am wasteful. But, I refuse to be content in that. There is always something else I could do or not do to live more resonsibly.

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