Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vacations are wasteful!

(Ok, so the title isn't really clever, but I couldn't think of anything to rhyme with "waste-maker"). So, I've kind of fallen off the bandwagon of keeping track of my waste since I got back from vacation, but there's a reason why.

Let me explain first...

I went on vacation to New Orleans with my M.a.t.h., his colleague and her bf for the ACLA Conference. And while the trip was fun and great, I was struck by something.

1). How many bottles of toothpaste, shampoo, water, soda etc. are thrown away at the security lines? Do they recycle them? Who knows? I'd like to find out more about this.
2). We threw away A TON of plastic cups/paper trash etc. just because we didn't want to deal with carrying them around. I even decided to throw away my novelty plastic gator cup b/c I didn't have room to pack it in my carry-on.
3). And the wastefulness wasn't just us, it was EVERYBODY on Bourbon St. there were cups up the wazoo lying by the curb, being kicked into piles then shoveled in big garbage bags.  Now the city of New Orleans has a really great street-cleaning team, but I bet that stuff just lands in the landfill.
4). There are SO many beads there - they are hanging from the telephone wires, tress, cars, houses, signs EVERYWHERE.  And so many more are dished out every night.  They go from this:
To this: 

Do you see the beads on the lamp post?  It's probably not that hard to get THOSE down, but what about the ones I saw hanging from a power line over the cable car tracks? Yeah, those are not coming down by any human hands. Also, it's apparently taboo to pick beads up off the ground (though I did a couple times cuz they were pretty. And I was freaking out about all the plastic) so people just leave them sitting around everywhere. And it had rained that day so there was water in the gutters. The beads would roll into the water then slowly slink their way to the drains. The drains DO have bars on them so cups can't go down, but they don't stop those persistent little strings of beads.... Here's another picture of beads hanging on the wire just below the deck:
And the funny thing is that we weren't even there on Mardi Gras or any holiday really. OK, it was Easter the next day, but do people party and get drunk and throw beads on Easter Eve? Apparently in New Orleans ANY weekend night is appropriate for that. Weekday nights too? Maybe So. And if this was just an average day, think about what it would be like on Mardi Gras, or St. Patrick's Day or New Year's Eve or any day that involves raucous consumption, destruction and waste for that matter.....

*Sigh....* In the end, all this excess made me wonder if what I'm doing is really worth anything. Am I just a drop in the bucket or am I really doing something? Is traveling really worth it? Well, actually, I don't think too hard about that one because, really is. But maybe I could try to change my habits in the future so I can at least contribute more to the solution rather than the problem. I guess the point of this blog is to just encourage me to do something...ANYTHING...because "any" is infinitely more than "none."

I'll try to get back on my tracking soon and I have many more good posts stored up for future use. So please come back often! Oh, that's another thing...I seriously need readers if I am to keep this up. Please tell friends! And if you have blogs I will return the favor and eventually, everyone will feel loved. ^_^

No comments:

Post a Comment