When I first moved to New York, had anyone asked me my stance on the environment, I would have said that I was a staunch supporter. I would have qualified this by saying that I was fairly Green. Not Super Green, with a cape and tights and eco-friendly superpowers—but Greenish, an eco-conscious person at the least: I recycled, I used a reusable water bottle, and I didn’t run the tap when I brushed my teeth. And, now that I was living in New York, City I wouldn’t be emitting toxic gases into the air by driving. I didn’t think I needed to do much more than that: I was practically a member of Captain Planet’s hero-generating team.
However, my idea of what it means to be green began to change soon after I moved to the city.
One thing I learned quickly is that recycling is a tricky business. Taking out recyclables became a game: Take the Bin Out Without Landlord’s Dad (Who Only Speaks Greek) Seeing You. If our landlord’s father saw me or my roommates taking out our recycling, we knew we were in for it. A string of what might have been expletives would emerge from Landlord Senior’s mouth, followed by a rifling through of our plastics, bottles, and cans, some of which he would angrily remove from our bin. It was a strange experience; in Boston, my hometown, we can recycle just about anything. Having a stranger go through your recyclables and not know why is disturbing. We decided that it must have been because he was an anti- recycling curmudgeon.
Alas, that was not the case. As I have come to learn, being green in New York state can be difficult, especially when recycling is involved. But more on that at a later date…
Here is why I am writing this column: I only came to find my Green Calling recently, when I started practicing yoga two years ago. The Calling has become stronger in the past year or so, as I read and learn and live more each day. I am trying to take my Green to the next level, be it through my eating habits, my purchases, or my attitude. So join me on my adventures in greening!
Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.