Greg Gone Green

Since being deputized as the official environmental sustainability coordinator (or green guy doing that green thing) at the Antlers, some of my assignments involve extensive travel.  I continue to ask Rob to send me to Italy, France and China so I can study and report back of “people practices” around the globe; but he doesn’t feel compelled or questions my real intentions. I was however, given permission to travel back to Cleveland and, using my vacation days, I would like to disclose the progress I observed after only 4 months time. (Please reference “Us and Them” blog – 6/12/10)

They aren’t doing very well and I find myself  becoming more of a big pain the culo.

My cousin Tim, who I dearly love, owns and operates the Cleats Restaurants in Ohio.  He recently started to recycle cardboard after I hounded him about it last time I traveled to the Great Middle East.  Metro Waste is the local hauler and I told him “I’m not eating any more of your free food if you don’t start doing something.  These guys pick it up and all you have to do is throw it in a different container.”  Trust me when I say there is a lot of cardboard going into those bins from the everyday operation of 14 restaurants.

Now I’m on him about the glass and aluminum.  “You’ve got to be kidding?  You can put it all in one container, it’s called co-mingle, and you cut back on a tremendous amount of waste and…. the general public will finally begin to respect you.

 He said “I wish you weren’t my cousin. Would you please leave me alone?  The girls (waitresses) wouldn’t take the time to separate things and I wouldn’t ask them to do it”.

So I asked them. “I’m not going to drink any more of your free beer if you don’t consider this.”

They said “Good.  We need your table”.

I will continue to be his pain until I make him understand that he, and countless other business operations, are needlessly throwing away millions of pounds of reusable products.  When he starts to recycle, and I’m sure he will, I can’t wait to tell him about the Food Service Technology Center in San Fransisco that studies energy and water efficiency in commercial kitchens.


Rob.  If you read this you might want to send me to Paris, Rome, etc so I can explain and convince others of the practices in the Western World (or maybe I should just focus on The Antlers).

Posted in Green Environment, Vail Colorado and tagged , .


  1. You forgot to tell everyone that we like to throw our trash out the car windows on the freeway. This way, the prisoners from various jails have something to pick up on their work details. We consider this to be humanitarian in nature. Then, they can recycle. Isn’t that perfect? Garbage flies out the car at sixty miles an hour, eliminating those pesky stops along the way. Thereby saving us time and getting us to our destination more quickly. Then, we can stimulate the economy in some capacity at our next stop. God bless America.

  2. Dear Green Greg,
    My family and I are interested in coming to Vail for a vacation this winter and I thought that I would look up the place for information.It looks beautiful. I hope it stays this way. I was interested enough in this article to reply. I am from the Midwest of America. Our trash service was BFI. When it was BFI, the garbage truck would come around and put the recyclables in the same area of the truck as the usual garbage and crunched it all up. Concerned citizens of the small town I live in complained to the city. A meeting with a big shot of BFI was put together at the high school gym. Approximately 100 mad citizens showed up. When BFI was asked how they could recycle when the recycling was thrown into the same part of the truck as the garbage and squished to compact size; their response was this:
    We were not aware that this was being done.
    We are recycling your garbage.
    No answer as to how this is being done.
    My question is this: How can they separate the garbage when it is compacted so tightly? Was BFI lying to us? Do recycling companies separate the garbage at all? Is recycling just propaganda? Basically, what I am saying is this.
    People out there (I for one) do not trust the big companies who are “recycling” our garbage. This loss of trust causes citizens to feel that it is useless to recycle when it’s really not being done. I went to visit some friends of mine in Northern California about 5 hours North of San Fransico. It was soo soo green up there. They recycled in cardboard boxes, not plastic bags. They separated their recyclables. Everyone burned wood for heat, they had solar panels with dry cell batteries for electricity. You trusted the green up there. Greg, sorry to say but you may be paying for your food and drink in the Midwest. Greg, keep trying their is another generation coming up that may jump on your ideas and stick with it. We can only hope.

  3. Maura
    If BFI is putting everything into the back of that truck…they were lying. Recyclable materials are picked up seperatly for commercial opperations or the same truck has different compartments for residential pick ups. If 100 mad citizens showed up at that gym, that tells me there is concern about BFI procedures. Be patient; companies and business eventually do what thier customers want.

    Judging from your comment, I can see you are a real independant thinker. We call that “outside the box”.

  4. I need to i must have been a little leary with all the different hype going on around solar. After considering a number of programs and purchase options we made a decision to take the plunge. We wound up getting solar without money down and we immediatly started saving money the first month is was installed. I must say that the benefits associated with solar appear to be real and I am very happy we chose to proceed with it.

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