What a Journey

As the manager of the Zero Waste McMinnville Facebook page I see the issues that resonate with people.  I shared a story about a recycled arts festival about 18 months ago and there was some mild interest with maybe 20 likes. Four months later a similar story came to me and when I shared it again, the response was similar. Then a few months later I posted a third story and it went “viral” with over 100 likes.

So, after talking to a friend of mine who has been presenting her work at crafts and art fairs for years and hearing her response (“We should do this here!”) I popped over to a Facebook page for artists and artisans in the Northwest and posted a query. “We’re not planning this yet….I just want to know if any artists out there would participate if we did.”  Within a week I had the names of 60 artists.

So I decided my friend was right and together we got a small working committee together: Aundrea Harris, John “Sam” Houston, and my husband Graham and myself, Beth Rankin. We sat down the first time December 4th and started brainstorming ideas. We met almost weekly for at least 2 hours and each of us had lots of homework assignments.

One task that I took on was to identify more artists to issue direct invitations and not rely on posters and Facebook postings that we wanted artists to apply. In the course of a week, reading through numerous Facebook craft and art show pages and then on to Etsy searching for recycled arts and then on to Instagram, I identified another 90. We visited galleries in the area and got a lot of advice.

We set a response date and we formed a jury to review all the applications. The four of us on the planning committee were reading the applications as they came in, but the outside jury participant had no idea and came to the meeting with ideas of his own in case the work presented did not meet the quality we hoped for. He was blown away.

Participating as a jury member is interesting because you have to analyze  the work that it takes to produce something while suspending your own reaction to the art. That is one reason why there is a committee-to balance that “personal preference” factor.

The other reason the jury is made up of people from different artistic mediums is because the viewpoints of the general public has to be considered. However, as artists who sell to the public, we know there are  people who do not do that kind of work and thereby do not appreciate the effort to use creative ability and accumulated experience to produce the work. Many of us have heard “oh, I could make that” many times.  We also know few people actually take the time to learn and better that craft.  The artists who have built their craft into art are people whose work should be respected.

neckpiece Carla FoxMost people, we know, will be amazed at the offerings that the inaugural McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival will present. The concept of “trash to treasures” interests many, amuses some, but there are still people who are not convinced. For example, when I saw the neckpieces that Carla Fox will be offering, I knew the white one might appeal to a bride. I imagined a less expensive simple white sheath as a dress with this neckpiece as embellishment and believe some bride would feel gorgeous while keeping their dress budget more reasonable. So I contacted about eight wedding consultants. Seven never responded. One was offended I would think her clients would wear garbage. She obviously doesn’t understand and it was not worth the time to educate her with her anger so apparent. I had a festival to organize.

But you understand. You know that we can always increase our own personal sustainable practices. You appreciate learning of ways others reduce what goes to the landfill.

The community has responded in amazing ways. For example, I mentioned to one of the management at Recology that we wanted to put a street banner up over McMinnville’s NE 3rd Street, and he offered to pay for it. street banner bThat freed up money from our marketing budget and when I was contacted by That Oregon Life (in response to our press release) to see if they could help and I told them about Zero Waste McMinnville, they immediately reduced their fee for the services they would provide. Howie Harkema was happy to have us on his community access tv program, Speaking Frankly: and How We Doin?  . Then his camera person offered to come and take video. Other media have responded that they will come as well.

We can see the metrics of some of our advertising so we know we have reached a lot of people. We’re amused and excited by the number of people who have “purchased” free tickets on Eventbrite because we can see that Friday has a strong appeal to many.  When I started posting the artist spotlights on this blog and thereby on Facebook readership on both increased dramatically.  We know we have your attention. LOGO jpeg

My latest nightmare is that there was a traffic jam a la Field of Dreams……..bring it on!

Artist Spotlight: McMinnville Montessori Elementary Students

A funny thing happened on the way to this festival. Early in the planning process the committee discussed ways to get the youth of McMinnville involved. We very much understand that as much as the adults make the changes that are needed to help the earth, our children and grandchildren are the ones who will be living with the effects of the past 100 years of industrialization. So, we wanted to set up an art exhibit to help get them thinking and learning.

We contacted the art department at Linfield and the art department at Huntington High School and yes, there will be some students exhibiting at the Festival.  We never planned on elementary school age kids getting involved, but Montessori jumped in fully!  We first planned an art exhibit, but Kate Massey, a Guide in the Primary program explained that the children’s enthusiasm and creativity took over the classroom for the last 6 weeks and they have been focusing on making things to sell from reclaimed “trash”.

 

The Montessori sales will only be offered on Saturday (sorry, kids, Friday is a school day…..) and we hope you will enjoy their offerings. While not at the level of expertise as our adult artists, they heave learned some basic fundamentals of jewelry making and have quite a few items that people will enjoy at very reasonable prices.0306191218 - Katie Massey

Kate Massey and the Montessori elementary students will be at Table #8.

 

Artist Spotlight: Will Eikleberry and Sawdust Fabrication

In 2003 Will Eikleberry enrolled in the Summit School of Guitar Building in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia with the intention to learn to build acoustic guitars.   In his free time between classes he built a ukulele out of scrap wood from other students’ projects that was otherwise destined for the burn pile.  And so it began……IMG_2005 - Will Eikleberry

Upon graduation he was hired by the Santa Cruz Guitar Company, where he worked for two years before starting his own business. “At one point a friend asked me if I could build an instrument using an old cigar box. Through trial and error I built one, and then another, and over ten years later have sent more than 250 of them out into the world.” And so it continued…….IMG_2206 - Will Eikleberry

There are several reasons Will works with reclaimed materials. Economy is the most obvious. The less he spends on materials, the less he has to charge for his work, and he enjoy putting affordable art into people’s hands.IMG_2212 - Will Eikleberry

He also enjoy the story that reclaimed materials tell. Every piece of wood has a unique history that gives the finished product its own personality.IMG_1655 - Will Eikleberry

And finally, as a woodworker Will is often shocked at how much perfectly good material gets discarded because some people can’t find a use for it. He takes pride in being able to make something both useful and beautiful out of something that would otherwise never be seen again.

Will Eikleberry and Sawdust Fabrication is at Table #30.

Artist Spotlight: Michelle Griffin and One Little Blackbird

About 15 years ago, when needing a planter box, Michelle Griffin thought “why not?” and decided to learn how to use woodworking tools and build it herself. Using scrap wood, she realized she could save money and still create something beautiful. From there her love for the rusty, old, chippy, worn and curious grew.D6D50647-281D-4E69-A78A-985B3EDB6178 - Michelle Griffin

Imagine entering her artist’s workroom and finding buckets of old doorknobs, boxes of window hardware, sheets of tin and sheds full of old, aged beautiful cedar.  What a collection! Michelle finds they “talk” to her,  and the stories they tell help her create a new life for them. 8FCDACAE-6616-470B-BEBB-973076A8E5F3 - Michelle Griffin

She says, “My love for all things old and discarded are lovingly blended to create new uses for items once thought to be trash.” When others see old buckets of paint, cast off window parts and chippy doorknobs, Michelle’s artistic skills  are brushed off and give new life in creating delightful silhouettes and quirky birdhouses. The curvy colorful and functional birdhouses and 2D silhouette artwork are all crafted using recycled   materials and found objects.43B153EA-9095-42B6-913C-D7439767E537 - Michelle Griffin

Check out Michelle Griffin and One Little Blackbird at Table #33.

 

 

 

Artist Spotlight: Janet Ronacher and Fiber Design By Janet

Sometimes something completely unexpected causes a life path to take a slight turn in a direction previously unexplored.  Janet Ronacher explains, “I began fusing plastic bags in my artwork after reading that the Hurricane in Haiti destroyed the dwellings of residents.  The monsoon rains that continued after the Hurricane horrified a Bend woman who decided to get her friends together to iron 10’ x 10’ tarps to give the Haitians some shelter.  I have never met the woman but I was so impressed with her can-do spirit as she sent many tarps to Haiti.”

And so, a seed was planted and Janet started to explore this new concept. After thinking about the woman in Bend and dreaming about the possibilities Janet started experimenting with small bags.  That included layering bags, ironing them
together until she had roughly a 12” x 24” piece of plastic that she could cut into strips and weave as baskets. C870E4A5-C23F-4414-8FD8-E8ABFFBEB9EF - Janet Ronacher

“I was surprised that the bags I had were not  enough to really work as I thought they should.  So I asked friends and neighbors for any bags they thought were bright and colorful for me to try.  I was shocked at the number of folks who were delighted to have a use for the bags.  That one basket the size of a 6” x 6” box used over thirty bags. It was difficult to count the bags and keep ironing and then weaving so I never counted again.”AFA5D070-9C87-4D32-957E-46063B6C56D9 - Janet Ronacher

(The difference between Janet and me (and maybe many of you) is that her work is art. Mine, at best, would be “craft”. This is a good time to explain that the jury process was used to separate out the work of people who, while done well, just did not reach that level of art we hoped to introduce to the public. Janet’s ability to take one of the biggest contributors to an environmental mess on our planet and produce something attractive and even functional is a talent that many do not have.)03B65C2A-E731-4A0D-9547-425A833F8C59 - Janet Ronacher (1)

“I feel good about using reclaimed materials as my medium since it is so plentiful and I feel compelled to keep as much as possible out of the oceans, waterways and food supplies of animals and humans.  I have read that plastic never really goes away and that it has a half life of over 400 years. Yes I might run out of materials eventually and my work will someday become waste also.  In the meantime I will continue to save the environment one bag at a time until scientists and engineers find a better alternative.”3542AE58-7144-4295-9F32-EFBB90327938 - Janet RonacherJanet Ronacher and Fiber Design By Janet will be located at Booth #31.

What’s Happening?

There has been a bit of a lull with active Zero Waste McMinnville volunteers as the hectic events season ended with the last Downtown Farmers’ Market.  It gives us all a moment to catch our breaths and regroup. We don’t stop working towards our goal; in fact, the committee work gears up since each of us is not pulled in six different directions any given day.

So, part of what you are reading that that we are always working to get to that goal of 90% of trash diverted from the landfill by 2024.

But more importantly, part of what you are reading here is also a statement of fatigue: we are a small and mighty group but we really would be willing to have more of you join us in chasing the goal. That eases the tasks each one of us handles.

We’ve heard you: you appreciate what we’re doing even as some in town may not agree with all aspects of the decision making. Actually,  agree with us or disagree, the best way to get yourself heard better is to join us. The next meeting will be Monday, November 5th at 5:30 in the Carnegie Room at the Public Library.

Right now there are several committees in active planning.

  • Styrofoam collection: we know you want it. Styrofoam comes into our homes in several ways including the trays under the meat you purchase at the supermarket, many of the take-out containers used at restaurants, and of course, the packing materials in boxes that get mailed to you as well as appliances and furniture you purchase here in town.  While we all get some Styrofoam, we support Recology’s decision not to have a curb-side collection.  It costs them a lot to run pick-up service and in a situation like this, the household volume does not support that level of activity. We believe that establishing a collection area at the Depot would be a good solution. Similar to other items (like cardboard, textiles, books, glass, electronics and more), a collection container for Styrofoam will probably provide you an outlet without much bother. Unfortunately, Recology’s space is tight inside the Depot. For the Styrofoam to be viable to Agilyx (the company that can break it down into its components and then truly make it available for new/recycled Styrofoam to be manufactured), it needs to be protected from the weather. We are asking residents of McMinnville to sign a petition asking the City Council to add a stipulation to the contract with Recology to provide this service.   As a way to demonstrate to Recology that the public wants this service, we are trying to set up a collection day, probably in January  (after all those padded packages arrive as part of holiday shopping). Watch our website calendar as well as announcements on the Facebook page to participate.

 

  • Composting collection: Currently you can use your Yard Waste trash bin to include uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and a few other raw produce leavings. Do not include egg shells, as they take a bit longer to break down into the good nutritional calcium element and remaining pieces of shell flecks in the compost produced by Greenlands has caused some dissatisfaction.  We encourage you to have a small compost pile in your own yard if you have space, as the nutrients that develop in the rich decayed material will feed your flower and food gardens. More items can be used in a home compost pile as seen in the photo.  Zero Waste has been working towards implementation of a commercial pick up from restaurants, schools, the hospital and nursing homes. Once we implement a pilot program we can work out issues that might hamper curbside collection citywide, so it’s important we work it slowly and carefully.  We could use some help on this committee, with tasks that would include or not include physical effort.

 

  • By both volume (space used) and weight, debris from demolition and construction is the single largest category of trash going to the landfill. It is in the financial interest of anyone paying for trash pickup in McMinnville that we solve this problem!  We appreciate Cellar Ridge Construction  offering to help us explore our options here. This is a perfect example of a type of special expertise that is needed for this task. People with large scale experience knows not only the issues they themselves deal with, the solutions they have developed that may be viable on a larger scale, and the ability to know what the construction industry overall in areas interested in zero waste are doing to address this problem. We need not reinvent the wheel, so to speak, if another location already has developed a solution.  If you have the time and knowledge to lend a hand with this problem, please let us know.  When we have larger committees, each person’s time involvement lessens.  We love our volunteers and do not want them to fatigue out of chasing the mission

 

  • We are planning an Earth Day event that we have great hopes will excite you! We’ve posted  in this blog as well as on Facebook numerous stories about places around the world where amazing useful items and artistic decor are made using items that would otherwise end up in the trash. We hope you will be excited to explore The McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival!!  The committee has been working hard the last few weeks and we will be announcing the when/where/why/who/how information asap!  This will be a juried event which means the artisans who will be participating will have to submit extensive information about their products for us to determine they meet our quality standards. All prices will be offered. This will not be an exclusive event but one where everyone living in the area will enjoy not only the creativity of the artists, but how the usefulness of many of the handcrafted items would fit your own needs.

 

  • Another committee that is approaching the culmination of planning is the Merchant Awards group. We recognize that each of us probably needs to be more mindful of the materials in items we purchase and how we can best use them when we no longer need it. It’s easy for people to be reluctant about the changes they can make and Zero Waste McMinnville wants to recognize the amazing steps some people are taking to minimize their contribution to the landfill. Our first phase of this involves award to shopkeepers, restaurants, and other similar businesses who have met standards we have suggested for best practices.

 

  • There are several more committees and working groups that help Zero Waste McMinnville develop an action plan for reaching the mission. One aspect is working with the youth in town. An active committee is introducing the Green Schools program in city schools. Last year Patton Middle School participated and were amazing creative and excited participants.  Because of the help we provide at area events, we see that overall, the children of this city already are aware that they have a role in helping our environment be healthy.  Kids often show their parents how to sort their trash, for example!  Our intern Maddie is developing ideas of other ways to reach out to the school-age population here.

 

We are not a large group, but we are attracting more people to this way of thinking and many more are volunteering their energy, as they can. We do not abuse our volunteers. We encourage you to find the best fit…there are so many ways…..but not to overdo.  Another way you can join our group is to consider a financial contribution. Our annual Sustaining Circle dinner is scheduled for Friday, November 16th  and we would love for you to be there. This year we are excited to host the event at Youngberg Hill Winery 

RESISTANCE

Before you get concerned that this is a political post, let me assure you this has NOTHING to do with anything outside of McMinnville and Yamhill County….although we are pretty representative of other places in this nation, ahead of some, trailing behind others.

I’m talking about trash. Versus trash talking. That’s a different blog (only kidding).

We who are involved with the concept of reducing the amount of garbage that goes into our landfill understand that this is not an instant process but must take time to implement a number of small changes.  One recent change, McMinnville’s decision to stop single-use plastic bags being used at the check-outs, is a good example.

First came the understanding that light plastics that end up in our landfill are a big problem. Not only will they fill the landfill, requiring ever more and more space, but they will not decay. And, as anyone who actually takes a moment to stop and look at the landfill will notice, the land around it has a lot of plastic litter blowing in the wind.  This ends up in the Yamhill River and does make it out to the Pacific Ocean over time, affecting sea life.

After learning what other communities did to impose a similar change in plastic bag usage policy, we spoke at great length to managers of the stores in town for their understanding and buy-in before the case was made to the City Council.

The town government then held several opportunities for residents to share their viewpoints. There was an article in the News Register and on local news stations.  Zero Waste McMinnville produced and disseminated information papers at all the major stores at least a month before implementation. We even had tables in front of the supermarkets in order to hand out free reusable totes and to answer questions.info English (2)

 

info Spanish (2)

And yet, even now there is a segment of the population of this city who have not really become informed and are convinced that the charge for paper sacks is a new city imposed tax and one where they had no voice.

Not true.

This is the resistance I am addressing today. Why do people choose to be stubborn?

In reading about resistance to changes made in a business environment certain factors are suggested in setting up the new situation to be as positive as possible.

  1. What are the specific changes needed?  So, here we are urging people to reuse sacks or totes or bags for their shopping. There are lots of opportunities in this town during events to pick up FREE reusable bags let along low priced options at thrift shops and yard sales.  Access to new containers is fairly easy.
  2. Who will the changes affect? Primarily, this most affects the consumers but it also affects the stores.  Consumers needed to change a habit if they already had not noticed, or cared, that our use of plastic has had a negative effect on the environment. The stores had to be the ones who dealt with uneducated consumers, people who just had not heard over the weeks that this plan was being implemented.
  3. How will the changes impact them? Consumers need to learn to carry bags into stores or pay a new bag fee at the check-out. Stores need to stay in compliance with the new regulation and can impose a fee to cover the costs of the paper bags they used to provide for free.
  4. stubborn-behaviour

So, realistically, the new ordinance is not requiring a huge change. Just carry in bags you have used before. You can even carry in the bags you purchased the last time you were in the store since you failed to carry in bags then.

And yet, we have some people in this town who are threatening to drive out of McMinnville to shop to avoid the bag charge. Really? You complain about the 5 or 10 cent bag charge as too expensive but are willing to use how much gas to drive to another town to another store to shop? Really?  That does not make financial sense at all!

So, why are people so resistant to change, even when it really is not a big deal?

  1. Fear of the unknown/surprise. If the people who are reacting in this way are the same people who never heard anything, on local radio or tv, in the local newspaper, or at the checkouts of the supermarket they used for a month before implementation, then they were surprised. But does opting to stay uninformed,  personally choosing to never read the paperwork at the grocery store,  mean this was done without notice? No, plenty of notice was out there….and in a place you normally go.  Not understanding what this new ordinance means is a reason to get curious and ask questions.
  2. Mistrust. People angry about the bag ordinance were almost fully consistantly complaining that the city government had imposed a new tax on them without any chance to speak up.  While this is not a tax and there were plenty of chances to state personal opinions, these residents failed to understand that, and so, are concerned about what else the government might have planned.
  3. Loss of control. If I am used to doing something a certain way and someone says I can’t do it any longer, I also would feel shaken. My first choice would be to find out the WHY behind the new rule. In this situation, concern for the environment is paramount. There are some people who just are not concerned, however. So, they want what they want because they are used to a certain way. Yes, they lost some control…they can not be completely responsibility free any longer when packing their purchases. They either bring a bag or they pay for a bag.  That’s what they have control over.
  4. Bad timing. Someone suggested that implantation take place after the holiday shopping season. Why? The option to delay is just a desire not to implement at all.
  5. An individual’s predisposition toward change. Some people seriously want to do everything the way they learned as children without realizing there are new and wondrous things today that our parents and grandparents never had the chance to enjoy.  It might be an interesting sociological study to see if people resistant to this bag ordinance might also be people who hate trying new foods.

The bottom line is that we continue to have a horrible problem with single use plastics befouling our environment ….and that of our children and grandchildren out to 1000 years!!

The bottom line is that we tend to exaggerate the amount of effort needed to learn a new habit. That we are talking about small tricks that take 5 seconds (oh yes, no exaggeration there) to remind you to carry out bags from your home to your car to take into a store. img_2021 (1)

The bottom line is that we here in McMinnville recognize that we are borrowing this land from our children and grandchildren and we need to turn some problems that have happened in our lifetime around. The use of thin plastic bags at the grocery store is only a few decades old. We can help turn this around. And be proud we did.

We need not be that stubborn. Really.

 

Put it on Your Calendar!

The song goes….Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…..

Hazardous Waste…….we all have some. Chemicals that are not allowed in the regular trash because of the hazards they present to the landfill and yes, the garbage truck itself,

How do you know if a  product is hazardous?

Always read the product labels. Signal words to look for on the label are DANGER, POISON, WARNING, or CAUTION. Products are considered hazardous if they have one or more of the following properties:

  • Flammable / combustible – can be easily set on fire
  • Explosive / reactive – can detonate or explode through exposure to heat, sudden shock, pressure, or incompatible substances
  • Corrosive – chemical action can burn or destroy living tissues or other materials when brought in contact
  • Toxic – capable of causing injury or death through ingestion, inhalation, or skin absorption

Collections of hazardous waste are usually twice a year.  The collections alternate between Newberg and McMinnville so people can use the opportunity to clean out their household of these items.   The next household hazardous waste collection event will be held Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 9am to 1pm at the Newberg Transfer Station (2904 S. Wynooski Street).  [Well, if you did not read this when it was first posted, you’re okay! Good News!  The next household hazardous waste collection event will be held Saturday, October 21, 2017, from 9am to 1pm at Recology Western Oregon (1850 Lafayette Ave) in McMinnville.  For more info call 503-434-7445.]

The Yamhill County Commission, recognizing that the collections have not been widely used, are thinking of discontinuing the service.

This is the time to make sure you get your garage or basement or storage building cleared out.  And if the activity is good, then the service may remain. It’s really up to you.

Image result for household hazardous waste list

So, what is eligible?

  • Paint thinners, mineral spirits, solvents
  • Aerosol paints (spray cans)
  • Auto and marine paints
  • Art and craft paints
  • Caulk, epoxies, glues, adhesives
  • Paint additives, colorants, tints, resins
  • Wood preservatives, (containing pesticides)
  • Roof patch & repair
  • Tar and bitumen-based products
  • 2-component coatings
  • Deck cleaners
  • Traffic and road marking paints
  • Industrial maintenance coatings
  • Original equipment manufacturer paints and finishesImage result for household hazardous waste list

 

Many people think to bring regular indoor or outdoor paint but here we are fortunate that both The Restore in McMinnville,  Parr Lumber in Newberg and the Sherwin Williams stores in both towns accept cans of used paint all year long for recycling.  By dropping your indoor paint at one of these locations you will also avoid waiting in a line!  These sites will accept:
  • Interior and exterior architectural paints: latex, acrylic, water-based, alkyd, oil-based, enamel (including textured coatings)
  • Deck coatings, floor paints (including elastomeric)
  • Primers, sealers, under coaters
  • Stains
  • Shellacs, lacquers, varnishes, urethanes, (single component)
  • Waterproofing concrete/masonry/wood sealers and repellents (not tar or bitumen-based)
  • Metal coatings, rust preventatives
  • Field and lawn paints

The regularly scheduled household hazardous waste collection for McMinnville is usually held in the Fall.  If the County decides to eliminate the collection or if you have something you want to get rid of at another time of the year there are two Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection locations:

Salem: 3250 Deer Park Drive – open Every Thursday and
the First Saturday each month from 9am to 3pm
FREE to Yamhill County RESIDENTS
Oregon City: 2001 Washington Street – open Monday thru Saturday from
9am to 4pm – $5.00 charge for up to 32 gal

Bag It Better

by Beth Dell                                                                                                                                                      published in The McMinnville News Register, June 2, 2017

Curmudgeons Won’t Win

McMinnville’s TurkeyRama is different things for different people. Few current residents and visitors understand that this area once was a center of turkey farms. Hence the name of the street fair. Just know that this is a small town festival done very well. We expect over 20,000 visitors, not bad for a town of 33,000.

For Zero Waste McMinnville TurkeyRama presents a golden opportunity to do a lot of education in a short period of time. Not only do our volunteers set up the waste stations, but many of those collection points have another volunteer stationed there to help people understand how their trash gets sorted into “Recycle”, “Compost” or “Landfill.”

Then there are other volunteers who walk the rounds to the collection bins and collect the bags. They carry them back to a sort station where more volunteers take each bag and sort again if needed and then the items are dumped in a large bin that Recology provides and removes at the end of the festival.Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor

Meanwhile, Zero Waste McMinnville also has an information booth this year with a goat kid to draw in the two legged kids and their parents. We also have a wheel of fortune to spin to win a small prize. The kids love it and it gives us the opportunity to talk to the adults.   We want people to understand the need to sort at home and we also need more volunteers. We are a small group and mighty, but we need more bodies. This event, for example, needs over 100 volunteers.   We ask people essentially if they can give 3 hours of their time at least once a year. Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

Most people I chatted with on Friday were excited to share how much they were already doing to sort their recyclables from their landfill trash. More shared how they already carry reusable cloth bags to the supermarket, not waiting to the September 1 ban on the plastic bags. Fewer have home composting but several use Recology’s yard debris pick-up to include compostible items.

But one dude was happy to chat with me but told me no way no how was McMinnville going to be able to achieve only 10% of its trash going to the landfill in a few more years. He said people won’t do it. I asked him if he did and he said he did but he said others don’t. Since his wife was smirking a bit, I asked him to tell me what he already does. Turned out, nothing.

So why are people curmudgeons? Why is change, even a SMALL change, so very difficult?

These people are the kind who don’t bother to make their beds in the morning because they are only going to get into it that evening and mess it back up.  They are the ones who mow every two weeks on a Sunday afternoon even if the growth rate on the lawn needs attention sooner. They are the ones who always order the same thing at a restaurant because they know they like it and no need to try other things.

Appealing to curmudgeons that we need to think of our kids and our grandkids and participate NOW to give them a healthy earth does not work. They are here and now and me me me. Image result for curmudgeon

Thank goodness there are few of them and they won’t win.