Sunday, March 27, 2011

It Isn't Easy Being Green

I've been thinking a lot about the psychology of recycling because I find it really interesting. I recently started a recycling bin at work because I eat both breakfast and lunch there. Everyday I have a Yoplait yogurt in a plastic cup and a microwavable lunch that comes in a paper box and a plastic dish. It just felt wrong throwing these recyclables in the regular garbage each day, so I asked for a recycling bin.

I never would have done that before I lived in Seattle. I mean, I did my best with recycling before that, but I never felt weird about throwing something in the garbage. But Seattle changed that.

You see, in Seattle, you don't just sort your trash at home. Everywhere you go forces you to think about that you use and how it can be reused. At the law school I went to, you didn't see a trash can. You saw at least three trash cans: one for plastics, one for mixed papers, and one for glass. Sometimes there was a fourth for electronic media (which always seemed unnecessary—how many old flash drives can people really have?) At Starbucks you saw two trash cans: one for trash and one for compostables. And don't even get me started at Whole Foods. They have four separate trash cans, illustrative posters, and employees that sort through them to make sure people get it right. The posters and employees are necessary because it's hard to figure it out sometimes. Is a napkin trash, paper, or compost?

I'm sure that Seattle implemented that system in part because it makes it easier for sanitation workers to sort through the trash and makes recycling more efficient. But I also think that someone figured out that there are psychological benefits, too. If everywhere you go in public forces you to think about what you're throwing away, then that carries with you when you go home. I still get lazy about stuff, but I make a much bigger effort now to be careful about what I put into the garbage can.

I wish more cities and towns did what Seattle does. I think that recycling in America would be implemented by more people if they did.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gearing Up for the Reunion...

Recently I came across a blog post written by a former high school classmate (who routinely links to her blog on Facebook, so it wasn't exactly hard to locate), and in this post my classmate made a pretty stunning generalization about single people. (She is married with a child.) I won't repeat what she said, exactly, but I will say that it was an objectively unflattering generalization.

I was so bothered by what she had written that I debated leaving a comment for the first time just to challenge her and let her know how off-base she was with her observations. I debated writing my own blog post here about my perceived motivations for why she would write such a thing. In the end, however, I decided that showing up to our ten year high school reunion in two weeks and proving her wrong would be the best response.

Should be interesting.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tsunami Post (A Week Later)

I was so disgusted last Friday morning when I woke up and saw this on my Facebook news feed:

Please pray for my parents!! They just have 2 more days in Honolulu, Hawaii, and after an 8.9 earthquake in Japan there is a tsunami warning estimated to hit Waikiki. God is good and hears our prayers!

I just couldn't believe that after all the death and destruction that in Japan where the death toll is estimated to be almost 10,000, someone could actually be so short-sighted that all they're worried about are their parents in Hawaii. Hawaii, which received sufficient advance warning to ensure that everyone was safe.

It could be that I'm being too harsh. After all, when these kinds of natural disasters occur, it can be hard to conceptualize it unless it directly affects someone you know. I know a lot of Japanese people because the majority of my LL.M. classmates were from Japan, so my immediate concern was them and their families. (So far I think everyone is okay.)

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn't this person's concern for their parents that irked me so much, it was the invocation of prayer and God, etc, that didn't sit well with me. "God is good and hears our prayers." Thousands of people are dead in Japan, but your parents are safe because God is good and hears your prayers? I don't know when I first realized how self-centered a lot of Christianity is, but I do know that it's a big part of why I don't like to go to church. Christianity is not about you. It's about Jesus. Get over yourself.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Separated At Birth?

Every time I see Congressman Peter King:

all I can see is Danny Huston:

I can't be the only one who sees this!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Real Conversation From Pub Quiz Tonight

Triviamaster: "Who found out on her wedding day that her fiance was already married to a crazy women who lived in the attic?"

Me: "Ooh, I know. Jane Eyre."

Teammate: "What book is that from?"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Just Buy This Album Already

If you haven't bought Adele's album 21 yet, just go ahead and buy it already. Have you heard the hype? IT IS ALL TRUE. THIS ALBUM IS AMAZING.

I have been listening to it exclusively for a week now, and I'm still not tired of it. Why? Because it's shifty that way. You buy the album because you heard "Rolling in the Deep" on the radio or in the commercials for that movie starring Quinn from Glee, and you listen to it over and over again. But at the same time, once you have the whole album, "Set Fire to the Rain" just knocks you off your feet. And once the obsession and newness on those two songs eases a bit, the amazingness of the slow songs creep up on you, like "Turning Tables," "Don't You Remember," and "Someone Like You." AND THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER SONGS TO KEEP MOVING ON TO, like "Rumour Has It" and "He Won't Go."

Is it any wonder I love this album? It is a break-up album and I LOVE SAD SONGS. Seriously, I do not like happy love songs. I love rip-your-heart-out-and-shit-all-over-it sad songs.