Monday, November 06, 2006

For those who don't think garbage adds up....

A month ago someone was throwing out an empty bottle of water. I grabbed it out of the garbage and said This is Recylable !
The answer was whatever its just one water bottle. I am not innocent of this type of behavior either but it seems that people think on an individual level like its just one bottle or can but our actions do not have just individual consequence. We are a collective group and we all affect each other so we should stop thinking like there is no consequences.

You hear people say that 80 percent of statistics are made up but even so they still demonstrate a point. Like one ton of recycled paper can save up to 7,000 gallons of water. People in Canada think we have tons of water so who cares. Well if that was the case you wouldn't have a problem going down to your local river and grabbing a glass of it and drinking it ! My buddy Rimmy used to say: "It's the little things in life, there's nothing bigger". He was meaning something other then recycling but it is the little actions that lead to the big impact. Now I am not a math wiz by any means and to be honest I never really knew my times tables till grade 10. Thankfully my teacher at the time did verbal times tables and to her astonishment hardly anyone in my class would answer. It wasn't people being shy but just lack of knowledge. She stopped her lesson plans and all we did was times tables till we were able to do them in our sleep. I never did thank her for that so I will now. Thanks Mrs G :)

Anyways to get to the point of the story is that the product of N (number of bottles thrown out instead of recycled) and how many people who do it and by how many days they do this is huge !
I never could understand compound interest until I started to invest in mutual funds. When the banker showed me the math I was simply amazed at how it can grow. Same thing when flying a long flight say from Florida to Montreal. You show 5 hours of flying to go and your ground speed only changes from 200 kts to 230 kts. That equates to about 40 minutes of flying or close to 10 percent of the orginal time ! Small changes make a big difference! But what people see regularly would be equivalent to a 45 minute flight from say Toronto to Ottawa and a change from 200 kts to 230 kts would only mean a change of 5 minutes so it seems like the same change has little effect (like day to day waste). I can't explain myself well enough on this issue but to sum it up Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Restrain, and Rethink !

A large waste facility just outside of Detroit. Its soon going to be made into an Olympic class Ski Resort at the current rate it is being filled. I wonder if some of that is garbage trucked in from Toronto. I do not understand why the United States does not Recycle very much as the math for it would greatly reduce the strain on landfills. It seems like the larger the cities the less they do it as well in Canada anyways. I went to Charllotetown PEI a small town in Eastern Canada and everywhere I went had not only 4 holes but a fifth for compost !! At Tim Horton's they had glass, plastics, paper, and compost (napkins and the cups which aren't recyclable). I am sure its easy to institute change in a smaller community but the need is more great for large cities. Just remember we are a collective unit and nothing we do only affects us.

Again zoomed out....

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