Greg Gone Green – Us and Them

I’m back from my excellent adventure. A trip to the “great middle east”, as I like to refer to Cleveland, proved to be refreshing, exhausting and enlightening. Refreshing because I had no real schedule. Exhausting because I ate too much ( I was burning calories lifting a fork and cutting meat 12 hours a day ). Enlightening because I realized how different we are versus them with regard to recycling practices. The friends and family I visit just don’t do it.

The landscape of this part of the country is absolutely unique and beautiful. I don’t mean to fashion a scenario that paints Northeast Ohio as a filthy wasteland where trash is pilled along the street curbs, the dumpsters are oozing goo over their edges and the rivers are still burning. I only know the people I know, and they just don’t bother with recycling. A friend of mine hosted a BBQ and I asked him the simple, commonly asked question “Where’s your recycle can?” I was almost made fun of with such an odd inquiry. “Hey guys, the Colorado kid wants to know where to put his beer bottle.” Most restaurants I was treated to had the same type practice. Everything in the dumpster out back.

This is not to say Waste Management doesn’t offer the service of single stream recycling, it’s just that nobody I know uses the service.

The point of my observation while visiting is the difference in lifestyles. What is totally accepted behavior here has barely caught on there. We all have a long way to go. It’s just that some have a further road than others. Anyone out there see the same thing when they travel, or am I totally off base here?


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