Friday, May 22, 2009

Everyone Will Do it if it is Easy

When we lived in Los Angeles, I remember how easy it was to recycle. Maybe because California is such a liberal, tree-hugging state. Or maybe the rolling blackouts and water conservation issues forever remind you that resources are limited. But one thing is for sure, recycling came easy there.

How is it so different there than here? Well, for one thing, pretty much everything could be recycled... and in the same bin. Cans, bottles, boxes, newspapers and any plastic that had that recycling triangle, no matter what the number. They were all placed together in a recycling bin that was a tad bit larger than our garbage can and picked up weekly along with our garbage. We didn't have to prep anything or sort it. Ooh, so easy. I literally had a garbage can for regular stuff and a paper bag for recyclables.  As it got full, I just dumped it in the recycle bin.

Here? Glass, cans and plastics with a "1" or "2" only. And newspapers, cardboard, magazines are separated. Granted, the recycle bin is the same size as the garbage can, but it's divided in two. We can't throw the newspapers into that half until the night before pickup because the weight is just too heavy for the divider.  What makes it worse is that it is only picked up once a month. 

It's all petty, I know, but having been exposed to the easy way of doing it just makes me want to throw up my arms and say "Why bother." However, by not participating, it's only hurting future generations and I'm not willing to let my frustrations keep me from doing the right thing.

But it was over the top this morning when our regular garbage bin was not emptied. You see, we're doing some yard cleanup and removed a bush that was unruly. The city has a yard waste recycling program but not only does it require that you purchase special bags to put everything in, but you also need to purchase a sticker for each bag that you put on the curb. Well, the bag says to only include certain things and the sticker says only certain things. Nowhere did it say an entire bush was okay so we threw it in the garbage. It isn't like we were trying to avoid paying the ticket fees because right next to the garbage can was a yard waste bag, with proper fees adhered, that wasn't even full.

So why does it get me all in an uproar? Because in Los Angeles it was so much easier. We actually had a third full-sized bin strictly for yard waste. All yard waste. In the same giant bin. You know how easy that made it when we had to prune the trees? To top it off, there weren't additional yard waste fees - it was all included in our monthly garbage pickup. I guess they realized that making it easy and economical translated to more people doing it. I recall that the last city we lived in had one of the highest participating percentages in the country. No wonder.  You could recycle almost everything and it was just a matter of putting it in the right color-coded bin.

So to wrap up this long, grumbly story... As soon as I noticed that our garbage wasn't picked up, I went out and removed the bush from the can.  I chopped it up enough to put into one of those bags then put my paid fee tag on it. I called the city and the man from public works that I talked to was kind enough to have the drivers swing back by to empty the garbage. But honestly, the whole thing really ruined my morning. Here I thought I was doing the right thing and it just bit me.

Recycling can be so easy if the cities would just do things a little differently. That is definitely one thing I miss about California.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

37, 38, 39... 20!

The girls and I were sitting around and chatting after we finished eating dinner.  Somehow we got on the topic of my age (39).  Miss K said "You were 37 before your last birthday."  I said "No, what comes before 39?"  She said "38 but you were 37 before that."  I confirmed what she said and told her good job.  Then I asked "So what will I be next year?" 

Miss K knows her numbers but for some reason, she's told me this before and I've decided I like it.  She enthusiastically responded "20!"  Miss M graciously intervened and said "No, 40 comes after 39." 

I'll stick with Miss K's birthday counting practices... I'll turn 20 on my next birthday.  Hope she still remembers it next April.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Generosity and How it Applies to BlogHer

The other day I received an email from Prizey, one of the best sites for blog giveaways.  They've changed their format which will allow more listings to post.  When the email came in, I didn't have time to sign up right away so I flagged it to do later.

I finally signed up yesterday then realized I hadn't surfed the ZRecs Network lately. (Nothing against them because I haven't surfed any of my favorite sites lately as I mentioned in yesterday's whiny post.) So this afternoon, I took a few minutes and stopped by ZRecommends to see what they've been up to.

Aside from some great reviews, I found out that they offered a giveaway for a BlogHer ticket and only had a handful of entries.  I would have entered that if I realized it but it's been hit or miss lately for me.  But in the midst of my reading, I found out they are giving away a three night stay at the Chicago Sheraton, the host hotel for the BlogHer conference!  I thought I missed out on two great giveaways until I read the fine print that said they're accepting entries until 11:59 p.m. (CT) on May 1.  My heart dropped a little as I looked at the calendar and said to myself "That's today!"

So here I am, typing away my entry in hopes that I can score not just a room, but an awesome room.  An executive perk stay. Here's the quote from their site:
We've just confirmed arrangements with the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, host of the 2009 BlogHer conference, to give away a three-night, executive-perk stay at the Chicago Sheraton for the nights of July 23-25. Those nights include the night before the BlogHer conference begins, plus the two nights of the conference, and the room they've reserved for our winner is on the hotel's Executive Club Level, with no strings attached - no rack rate, no taxes, no access fees, just a free three-night stay at one of Chicago's top hotels.
What's the big deal about executive?  Well, the Executive Club Level not only has a nice lounge with incredible views, but they offer daily complimentary breakfast, hors d'oeurves each evening and snacks and beverages throughout the day.  The BlogHer room block has high-speed internet access, but that's a perk that BlogHer put together for their room block.  The executive, however, offers free high-speed internet, office supplies and PC/Mac workstations as their standard fare. 

Although there isn't much time left to enter, if you're quick then you can do still make the deadline.  Head to ZRecommends for all the details!  And if you aren't entering, at least wish me luck because I would love to win!