My Personal Motivation

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I’ve been aware, and involved in living green since I was in elementary school through the late 80’s and early 90’s. In the beginning my father convinced me to start recycling aluminum cans. While it was more for the money than it was for saving the environment, it was my first experience with recycling. I collected cans from neighbours, family reunions, any kind of event where people were drinking out of cans. Of course my favorite were beer cans, because the vendors paid back a deposit on those. The pop cans were just crushed and taken to an metal recycling center and I was paid by the pound. After several summers, and my grandpa sending me to the metal recycling center with copper wire and some old car transmissions, I was able to buy a bike with my money. That was the greatest feeling in the world riding a bike that I had basically paid for myself. Shortly after that I got involved in a much larger recycling program.

Our school started a recycling program when I was in Grade 5. We brought in pop bottles we had frozen and capped to pressurize them for a company that was using them in floating docks. We brought our newspapers in for paper recycling. Finally we brought all our cans in as well. We built up quite a pile of stuff in the middle of the school, until it was shut down by the fire inspector for being a hazard. That could have stopped us, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. At that point the school or some parents involved with the program at the school had a semi trailer brought to a nearby mall, and we moved our recycling to that site.

People from the community brought us stuff from their houses. Volunteers, admittedly mostly the parents, worked at sorting materials that were brought to the trailer on the weekend and evenings. We were overrun with stuff to recycle. In a nearby neighbourhood there was another group of people who were recycling as well. The two groups got together and had the semi trailer replaced with metal bins. That ended our school’s involvement in recycling.

A year or so later a private contractor started Redbox recycling. Finally people could just leave their recycling out at the curb and have it picked up once a week. After a couple of years of sorting goods in a semi trailer, and then into bins in the mall parking lot. Curbside recycling was a dream come true. After a few years and an appropriate amount of pressure was applied to the city, they finally started a city wide Bluebox recycling program. Though sadly it ended the contracts with the business people who saw a demand for curbside recycling early on.

From this I learned that generally want to treat the earth better. Though they also want it to be convenient. Some people are happy going out of their way to do everything they can to be good to the earth. Others won’t do anything unless it has minimal impact on their life. In the end this is a mutually beneficial thing. Some people break ground in figuring out how to live better. Others create the pressure to make these things easier and more practical.

Now I’m not claiming to be either one of these groups. I get lazy at times, and don’t do everything I can. Other times I go out of my way to be good to our Earth. I’ve decided to document the changes I try to make in my life. There are a few reasons for this. First, so that others can maybe learn from my successes and my failures. Secondly, so that I can learn from my successes and failures. Thirdly, so that if I generate enough interest in this site I can learn from others about how to live my life better.

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This page contains a single entry by Andrew published on July 12, 2010 11:09 PM.

Hello World! was the previous entry in this blog.

My Personal Motivation Pt.2 is the next entry in this blog.

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