Thursday, February 17, 2011

We interrupt the normal programming to bring a special statement.

And a rather long statement. Sorry.

There are too many thoughts going through my head about this world to narrow it down to a brief, descriptive title. I am disappointed in our world today. Every day I see woeful images of the apparent sin in our society, but today…today…I am truly disheartened.

First off: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Our campus started a wonderful program over a year ago to help reduce the amount of garbage we create. Blue recycling bins were placed in public areas, classrooms, offices, etc. accepting aluminum, cardboard, glass, paper, plastic, etc. With this particular program, you do not have to sort your different recycled products. A local company collects the bins and sorts them at their recycling facility. It’s genius, and it’s easy. All you have to do is take your recyclable goods and drop them 2-3 feet in a different bin. That’s it!

I was so disappointed to see the other day that not everyone in my office takes advantage of this free, easy recycling program. I noticed in one coworker’s office that they had tons of paper products in the trash and an empty blue bin. I did not impose my opinions of reducing our carbon footprint on that coworker, and walked away discouraged about this wonderful opportunity given to us.

On a different occasion a different coworker blatantly mocked my desire to recycle. After dinner one night at my home, I asked him to not toss his empty beer bottle in the trash, but to please place it on the shelf above the trash so I could recycle. He just laughed and purposely threw his bottle away. *gasp* I realize he was joking with me, and I went and dug the bottle out, but still! Don’t you think in my house you should play by my rules? (Not N.A.M.eing any…but you know who you are!)

I realize that not everyone embraces my “hippy” values of trying to save the planet. But if everyone tried to do a little, it could make a huge impact on the amount of waste we have on our planet. I also don’t appreciate people mocking me or rolling their eyes at my effort to do my part. If one more person at Wal-Mart complains about my canvas grocery bags…I mean, really? I’m trying to save your corporation money by reducing the amount of plastic grocery bags you have to produce each year. (Even though my canvas bags barely make a hint of a dent in that production.) AND...more importantly…I’m trying to reduce the amount of plastic covering our streets, forests, oceans and earth.

If you can recycle, then do. If it’s unavailable in your area, then it’s unavailable. But probably not for long. More and more cities are adopting recycling initiatives to make it readily available for their citizens. Odds are your city will adopt a program very soon.

And Second: Save the Trees

Typically “save the trees” is a reference to recycling paper. That is why I paired these two topics together in one post. However, this “save the trees” plee involves a tragic, heartless act to a sister state/university.

Yesterday it was announced that 130+-year-old live oaks at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn, Ala., have been poisoned. When I read this on Twitter, my heart fell. Not because Toomer’s means anything to me, and not because I have any type of obsession with live oaks, but because someone deliberately injected lethal amounts of poison in the soil at this university and town landmark.

I have never been to Auburn, but if someone asked me what Toomer’s corner looks like after an Auburn win, I can describe it. Large, beautiful oak trees covered in hundreds of rolls of toilet paper. It’s an Auburn tradition. It’s part of their heritage. And as someone who loves their alma mater and an employee of a higher learning institution, my heart breaks at the impending loss of such a valued tradition.

Why would anyone want to kill something that means so much to so many Auburn students, alumni and fans? Why would you deliberately want to hurt thousands of people? Why? Because the world is full of sin. Because we are fallen, selfish, heartless and cruel. I have no other explanation.

This is truly why I am upset today. My heart breaks for the Auburn faithful as they wait for a miracle to save these gorgeous, old landmarks. These trees have lived longer than any person on this earth. They have seen more than any Auburn fan alive. And now they face a slow and imminent demise. And some ignorant, evil person, who, if they live in the South, probably describes themselves as a Christian, is gloating about ruining a time-honored tradition.

Thirdly: In summary

Friends, “Americans,” countryman, lend me your ears. 1. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. 2. Helps save the trees. (By limiting your paper waste.) 3. Don’t be an idiot. Don’t be mean. Don’t let sin rule your hearts. That’s all.

THIS JUST IN – A 62-year-old man has been arrested in connection to the poisoning. 62? Are you kidding me? You know better than that! You idiot. If you are the one who did it, I hope your sentence is to plant 10,000 trees across the South. On your own. In the summer. With just a shovel. Jerk.

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