Earth Day

Just what did you think happened to all those bags anyways?
Its earth day here and a couple hundred high-schoolers are going out to some neighboring islands to pick up trash. That’s great, but I think it would be more useful if they picked up the trash in Labuanbajo to get a sense of how dirty this place is. However, the point of this little paragraph is not to rip on the littering citizens of this town, but to give them props on not using Styrofoam. Our boxed lunches come in just that, boxes, with brown waxed paper to wrap up saucy things to keep it from leaking through. Utensils are metal and reused. This is a nice change from the Styrofoam boxes and plastic spoons we usually get when we order takeaway.
The point of this second paragraph is to ask you to avoid using Styrofoam. Who cares if it’s cheaper, it is really REALLY bad for the environment. And try recycling while you’re at it. I’m ashamed to say, but will confess that we did not recycle at our apartment before we left. This was due to the fact that we had no recycling bins at our complex, and we were too lazy to figure out what to do with it on our own. But, traveling in otherwise beautiful places that have been needlessly littered with all kinds of recyclable and unrecyclable waste I often find myself asking, why don’t they do something about that? Can’t they recycle that or at least put it in a trash can? In the US, I’d say that for the most part we’ve got the no-littering thing down. But what about recycling? Even if where you live doesn’t have its own recycling pick-up, you don’t usually have to go that far to find a place. It’s definitely easier to find a place to recycle back home than in many of the countries where I question their own recycling nature. So let’s get with it and start recycling more!
Last, but not least, in the spirit of reducing waste, get yourself some reusable shopping bags—not just for grocery shopping, but for all shopping. If you’re not into the canvas tote thing, there are a lot of other options out there. One of my favorites is the old-lady Chinatown veggie roller cart, but I know that this may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Another option are brighter, lightweight bags, like these Envirosacks, that can be folded up really small so that you can have them ready for whenever.
Actually, I have one more last thing to say, and that is while biodiesel may be good for American farmers in Iowa, and politicians trying to get their votes, it is not any better for the environment or people who need to buy food. And I still have no idea why Bush went on a tour of Latin America promoting the stuff. But then again, he doesn’t always have a good reason for doing the things he does, does he?

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