goingplaceslivinglife

Travel, Food, and Slices of Life


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The Crystal Ball is Clear…to Those Who are not Blind

When Al Gore presented An Inconvenient Truth in 2006 most people were in denial about global warming. How many people do you know (maybe yourself?) who completely misunderstood the term and scoffed when the first huge blizzards happened.   How many people are still denying that there are climate changes going on with massive devastating storms, polar ice cap melting, and resulting rising tides that have cities all over the world’s coastlines, including New York, trying to come up with plans how to stop the flooding.

Greenland 3

I took this photo in 2010 of Greenland….it USED to be all snow covered!!!

In the past week I have been reading about how climate change is already resulting in changes in food production which will lead to shortages and rising prices.  There has been an international conference meeting in Japan, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and their discussion is not easy to accept. The picture they paint is bad and something that is hard to consider.

But it is time we take our head out of the sand. The changes ARE happening and they WILL affect us. bury-your-head-in-the-sand

Oh sure, by the time the huge changes happen I will be dead, but my kids won’t be. So how selfish can I be?  It IS inconvenient to make changes.  I am a creature of habit, as you probably are.

So, there are a number of things you can do….small changes that should not be difficult that will make your own contribution to the problems reduced tremendously.

Let’s start with what you eat.

If you are eating out at restaurants or buying the meat you eat at the grocery store, unless it is raised organically, you are part of the problem. Big time. Most Americans’ meat (beef, pork and chicken) are raised in huge confinement facilities.  The EPA reports that failures to properly manage manure and wastewater at CAFOs can negatively impact the environment and public health. Manure and wastewater have the potential to contribute pollutants, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, organic matter, sediments, pathogens, heavy metals, hormones and ammonia, to the environment.  There’s so many more reasons not to eat meat from those animals, but we’re sticking to environment today.

cattle

The meat you buy at the supermarket comes from here.

Now this next step takes about 15 minutes…think you can spare that in order to help make a change for your kids?

If you don’t already know where you can purchase locally raised meat year-round, go to Local Harvest and read through the farms and farm market section for your zip code. Then call one of the farmers and start the discussion.

Isn't this more the image you want for the meat you eat?

Isn’t this more the image you want for the meat you eat?

Some local farmers will sell in small quantity. Some require you to purchase a half an animal as a minimum. That will bring down your costs amazingly, but if you don’t have the freezer space, get together with some friends and make the purchase together.

No excuses now.

Your world environment thanks you, your taste buds will thank you, your body will thank you, and the local economy will thank you.  What legacy will YOU leave your children?

 


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Why Bother to Recycle?

There is no question about it. The Left Coast is much more in step with making steps to be more environmentally aware than anywhere else where I have lived.

Visiting Burlington for Sam’s entry into the University of Vermont very much raised our awareness of the steps people can take. I posted some photos on Facebook during our orientation visit in June, 2013 where we saw trash centers that had multiple barrels for recycling and composting. Trash is termed “landfill” and perhaps that is a good term to use to get people to understand where it all is going.IMG_2145 I also mentioned how the campus had banned selling water in bottles and offered numerous water stations where people could fill there own bottles, thereby reducing the use of plastic on the campus.

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When I moved to Huntington, West Virginia I opted for recycling pick up and was surprised, but willing, to pay for the service. That service was poor, however and we cancelled after months when many pick-ups were no-show events. That company closed and the City was able to establish more recycling centers to make it more convenient for drop-offs. However, most people in Huntington, as well as when I lived in Nashville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and West Hartford just don’t bother to recycle.

When we called WOW (Western Oregon Waste) to set up trash pick-up in McMinnville we were asked a number of questions to determine the size trash can that we needed.  The service fee between a small and large bin was $5 a month so we opted for the large bin. We also requested a large recycling bin (no extra charge). Trash is picked up once a week; the recycling every other week. Watching the pick up last week was interesting…the truck pulled up to our can placed near the curb, extended the arm, lifted the can and dumped its contents into the truck, and then moved on. The driver and another worker in the cab never got out and the whole pick up took less than 10 seconds. Clat_recyc-trk

As you can imagine, we had a lot of boxes for this move and although I posted the empty boxes on Freecycle, I only got one response who took a few small boxes. We also loaded up a friend’s truck, as he plans to move the end of this year.  However, we still had quite a bit of cardboard.

flyingThat needed to be taken to the recycling center.  It is a huge place on a at least 10 acres of land. One part of it is used by the city’s trash and recycling trucks and the other two parts were open for residents to drop off…and pick up…recycled items.

There is one large area for yard debris and building materials. This is the area where residents can go buy compost or wood chips or even stone for walls.DSCF5563

Another area was where I dropped off the microwave that died and the mass of cardboard. Bins are available for glass (sorted by color), other paper products like books, textiles (I saw clothes and household linens), motor oil, car batteries and more.DSCF5564

One benefit of having a place to bring large items that are not usable is that people’s yards are not trash piles.  Another benefit is that those items that are brought in for recycling are in turn processed to be reused in another manner.

Recycle these items at The Recovery Zone:
No Charge:

  • Office Paper
  • Newspaper, Magazines,
    Phone Books, Cardboard
  • Tin & Aluminum
  • Plastic Bottles
  • Glass Bottles & Jars
  • Motor Oil
  • Car Batteries
  • Electronics, including computers, VCRs, printers, Computer Monitors, Televisions and
    stereo equipment.
  • Scrap Metal
Fees Apply:

  • Appliances
  • Refrigerators & Freezers
  • Clean Lumber
  • Car & Truck Tires
  • Antifreeze

Fees apply for some WOW
Customers*

  • Yard Debris (bring to NW Greenlands)

*Some cities have opted to include these services in their residents’ trash rates