Monday, January 12, 2009

The Greener Side of St. Louis

After attending multiple Moishe House events, a good friend was inspired to write a guest post for us. -Y?

It was only a matter of time before this issue would surface, and I'm perfectly fine with being the annoying tree-hugger to bring it up.

At first glance, I think the underlying spirit of good environmental citizenship has been present at each event since Mighty Moishe came to be. Multiple people ask multiple people on every Moishe occasion whether or not there is a system for recycling, and there is always a refreshing reluctance toward throwing perfectly reusable bottles and cans into the garbage. What I believe can be improved, however, is the clarity of Moishe's stance on recycling, as well as the general level of knowledge about recycling in St. Louis. This post will hopefully teach some of you a few things you didn't already know about how to be a responsible recycler in the 3-1-4.

I, like many, admittedly grew up w/a pair of environmentally conscious parents who did the dirty work associated with household greening for me. As much as I complained about breaking down cardboard boxes, squashing soda cans and sorting recyclable materials into their proper bins every time it was my week to take the trash out, I realize in my young adulthood how much I took these things for granted. Environmentally conscious actions, after all, enable us to gain a sense of our ongoing connection to one another and the cyclical nature of the earth we share. I feel as if I lost part of this connection by neglecting to recycle during my first six months as a young working man in the Lou.

Well, one day I became bored and gained some ambition. As my CWE apartment building does not offer a recycling service (nor do many others, unfortunately), I googled "Recycling in St. Louis" to gain a sense of the opportunities available and to educate myself on which of my daily waste products were and weren't recyclable. What I found was a very comprehensive list of recycling resources available in the St. Louis area. Because I couldn't say it better myself, I urge you all to take a look at the Refuse Division's website and learn what you can do to reduce your environmental impact with respect to waste:

If you don't like driving, and don't trust yourself to take your own recycling to one of the 27 drop-off locations in the city, pay the $37.50 by THURSDAY, JANUARY 15th (this week) and get curbside service for these materials

However, if you don't mind driving a very short distance and would rather drop-off your recycling, simply pre-sort your recyclables based on the categories listed in the above link and schlep them to your local drop-off location

As a final note, make sure you pay attention to everything you buy throughout the day, and the simple things you can do to reduce your disposables and increase your recyclables. Here are some closing thoughts:

--That morning cup of Starbucks: Both the plastic cap and cardboard cup are recyclable, so take advantage!

--GREEN YOUR BEER PONG: As the title suggests, the solo cups are indeed recyclable!

--LOOK FOR THE SYMBOL: Everything that is recyclable will have the triangle made of arrows stamped somewhere on it to indicate recyclability. Make sure your grocery store purchases have this symbol before buying.

--TAKE IT HOME! If your place of work doesn't have adequate recycling, put your empty starbucks cup or aluminum cans in your purse/bag to take home and recycle there.

--LET'S RECYCLE TOGETHER: As Moishe has the power to be a positive example for socially conscious living in STL, let's all agree that Moishe events from here on should have clearly-defined recycling collection points. It takes very little effort for one of us to drop-off the night's recycling, and the resulting smile on Mother Earth's face is all the reward we could ever need!


M-teen said...

Great post, I love it! I'm going to one-up you though - instead of getting a disposable coffee cup at starbucks and recycling the lid and sleeve, why not bring your own reusable mug and get a discount! And yes, plastic water bottles are recyclable, but if you carry your own reusable plastic or stainless steel water bottle, you eliminate one part of the waste stream.

Anonymous said...

Yoni...this is a wonderful post, and very inspiriting and motivating.

I for one, recycle, reuse, re-everything, as often as I can.

Have you hugged a tree today? :)

Unknown said...

kudos to the mystery writer - way to utilize the blog to effect change. As someone who has curb side pickup in the CWE, I'm happy to take all the bottles and cans from a shabbat dinner next time I'm there.

On a similar note, my pile of non-recyclable egg cartons has started to get out of control. You simply can't buy less then a dozen eggs in anything but Styrofoam. Any suggestions for art projects or other ways to reuse/recycle them? Or a way to buy more earth friendly eggs?