Monday, March 11, 2013

Debbie Downer

We all know or have known  a "Debbie Downer". The person in the crowd that seems to suck the light out of room, who can turn a good situation into a problem and a problem into a crisis of epic proportions. So often in all the environmental talk there are extremists (Debbie Downers if you will).

We definitely need to continue to make progress in our environment to right some wrongs of the past but I take the optimist approach that we are working on it. I've witnessed a lot of positive change. Most people have recognized that we need this planet and are paying attention to our environment and things are looking up. People are asking for environmentally friendlier solutions (or demanding them) and companies are taking notice and responding.

I do have to admit that when I read this article: Pennsylvania County Dumps Solid Waste Department & Recycling Program, I was a bit upset. At risk of sounding like a Debbie Downer I feel like this is a move in the complete wrong direction. It has taken us so long to begin to understand our true impact on the environment and how the decisions that we make today effect the futures of generations to come. I can understand that townships don't want to get experimental and try new programs but I feel as though it's the obligation of government officials to at least encourage recycling as a bare minimum. Granted, I live in an area that doesn't do curbside collection (although we do have a drop off center that is opened two times a week). This puts the ball more in the court of residents. I need to have the motivation to collect my recycling and drive it to the collection center. I'm an adult and it's a task I am up to, they've made it easy by also accepting garbage on those days.

I fully understand that if recycling is costing the county money (especially in the tune of $100,000 per year) adjustments need to occur. I don't feel confident that all options were explored and I don't agree that allowing residents to trash recyclables results in positive benefits for anyone. In the long run, as I've stated so many times before, each person is responsible for their own decisions and that includes their personal environmental impact. I am hopeful that people will take note that their personal choices when it comes to our environment has consequences far larger then they can physically see. I guess all we can do is give our opinion, express the importance of taking care of our planet and hope they everyone is listening; setbacks will happen but our goals need to remain clear.

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