Environment issues were brought up in various conversation recently. I had a glimpse of how the Americans see things during my time in New York. I never truely appreciate how much more environment concious the city of Toronto is compared to many places. For example, the government has installed those garbage/recycling bins on the street for almost ten years. We get rebate for switching to a better toilet, environmentally friendly car, switching light bulbs and what not. We even have to pay 5 cents now for every plastic bag we take from a store. In New York, similar laws couldn't get passed because it costs more money to sort the garbage than the money you make from recycling. People here still burn coal to make electricity!! How surprised I was to hear this! People use "habit" and convenience as excuses here. People think when a bag is bio-degradable it means it will compost in 2 days. Even in Toronto, it takes time to change people's way of thinking. For example, an article in today's Star tells us how some people want their plastic bags. This guy made a comment that annoys the hell out of me in particular. He said down south (in Florida or somewhere) grocery stores offer both paper and plastic bags and there are places where people can bring back their plastic bags for recycling. This guy went on to say that we are backward. I have coworkers that say they try to be good to the environment but continue to print all of their emails, don't reuse, or keep their lights and computers on when they leave at night. Yes, it takes time and a lot of education. Because being wasteful is so convenient that we sometimes don't want to know the negative effects of our action. Not knowing doesn't mean it's not happening. The fact is that we are hurting our planet, period. I want to be a tree hugger. It's hard to go back once you have gained the knowledge. It's like when Adam and Eve ate the apple and have wisdom. There's no turning back and say I'm not ashame of showing my body (well, ya, some people actually are not.) Likewise, there's no turning back in saying I'll continue to drink 2 plastic bottles of water a day or double bag everything, because I know better now.
I know I'm still not doing a lot of things that I should be doing. But I will try, one change at a time, to become a proud tree hugger.