Stephanie Pons's action
As stated by an article in the New York Time, Houston, Texas “is the worst recycler among the United States’ 30 largest cities.” Only 2.6% of the cities total waste is being recycled, and yet, little is currently being done in order to change that statistic. Rather, the mayor – Mayor Bill White – feels that the public is against increasing recycling programs in the city, and consequently, this is where Houstonians need to come in. Houstonians need to show him that we do in fact care, and therefore, for one of the 100-days-of-action, I propose having a “green” fling – instead of a spring fling – at a local park in order to raise recycling programs in ones neighborhood or community. This is an action that subsequently can be done in other communities across the nation, and therefore, despite my focus on Houston, which is my hometown, this action can also occur in other neighborhoods that see recycling as something they need to improve on.
As a result, this action would help advance the goals of the National Teach-In because at the “green” fling a petition would be signed that would later be sent to the mayor of each perspective city. The petition would show the mayor that the residents care about global warming, and in addition, would demand that he or she increase recycling programs. We would demand that the city provides its residence with more recycling centers and offer more curbside recycling, and as a result, such recycling initiatives would help minimize waste, which is one of the contributors to global warming. The action would also help cut carbon emissions, which is one of the National-Teach-In’s main goals for 2020, and thus, there is great potential in this action. Not only would it would help minimize some of the current problems that are occurring at landfills, however in addition, hosting a “green” fling can also serve as a great place to help raise awareness among ones neighbors and friends. They would now see the importance of recycling, and therefore, the new centers and curbside programs would be used in an efficient way.
Nevertheless, in order to make this action a success, one will need to prepare and plan it accordingly. Indeed, one could just go knock on doors to get the petition to be signed, and yet, by making an event out of it, this gets the community to come together under a unifying cause. This idea of community is a major theme in the book Ignition, and therefore holding a “green” fling is a great way to get the entire neighborhood active in the fight against global warming.
Thus, the “green” fling can be held at a local park, and in order to get the whole community to attend, one could send out fliers and get the local newspaper to write an article about the upcoming event. In addition, it is important that you also get your neighbors involved, so have them bake pastries for a bake sale, prepare food for a buffet, and also, see whether they too have ideas as to what recreational activities should take place.
Furthermore, as for the date of the “green” fling, I propose that it be done on a Saturday or Sunday. This would allow parents to come with their children, and would create a fun and friendly atmosphere. This is essential, and yet, in order to raise recycling awareness have “green” be the events theme. Some ideas in order to do that include: making posters that have recycling facts, having green colored decorations everywhere, making “green” themed pastries, and hosting environmental speakers. In addition, you can also have music and activities set up for people of all ages, and yet, one cannot forget to draw attention to the main action of the day, which will be to get everyone to sign the petition that will later be sent to their perspective mayor. In the case of Houston, the petition would show Mayor Bill White that Houstonians actually care about recycling, and thus, you can also present the money that was raised at the “green” fling and tell the mayor to match it. This, however, is just one idea as to what you could do with the money, and yet, it is not the only possibility. Rather, if you see that members of your community are enthusiastic about the idea of “going green” create an environmental board in which every month neighborhood members can meet and speak about environmental issues. The group could now also plan other future “green” flings, and subsequently, the money that was raised during this first one could help cover the costs of future ones.
In addition, it would also be great if one could get the media to cover the event, and show other neighborhoods that such actions can be done. The media will subsequently become a great ally, and with them spreading the word, this local action could spread on a national level. Therefore, all that you, Mr. Goodstein, and your Colleagues need to do in order to get mobilized is to find individuals in various communities who are willing to rise as leaders. These are leaders who would get help from their neighbors so that they would not have to lead the efforts by themselves, and consequently, this action has all the potential to be a success. The petition, in addition, can also implement real change and raise recycling programs in various cities, and thus this is an action that Uncle Sam would definitely be proud of.
- Ellick, Adam B. "Houston Resists Recycling, and Independent Streak Is Cited." The New York Times. 29 July 2008. The New York Times. 23 Nov. 2008 <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/us/29recycle.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&hp>.