The Third Age | Personal | Mo Becker


Since the third age refers to our impact on the environment, I spent a while thinking about what my carbon footprint is, and how environmentally conscious I am being. Overall, I believe I'm pretty 'green'. I reduce, reuse, recycle, and rely on my bike and feet to get me places. While I grew up in a household that recycled, and it seems normal to me, it still may be a relatively new idea to some Americans. Ok, maybe a new idea wasn't the write choice of words; but I think it would be a change of lifestyle. According to this article, 23% of Americans don't recycle for various reasons ranging from availability, too much effort, costs, and just plain ignorance.

As far as transportation goes, biking is very popular in Minneapolis. Voted the most bike-friendly state in the nation and boasting more bicyclists than Portland, Minneapolis is greatly reducing its carbon emissions. I make a point to never ride my bike in the winter; 1) because of the cold, 2) because of the damage salt, sand, and ice would have on my already fragile bike, and 3) because its terrifying.

Besides more obvious ways of trying to save our planet, there are other ways that we still take for granted, and most likely don't even think about. Some examples include looking at what chemicals are in the food and products we purchase, the waste we produce, and how far they had to travel to get there. I think its important to point out that even if we believe that we are being green, there is almost always something more we can do to help out our mother.


hey mo!! reading this reminded me of when the recycling in my own neighborhood changed. i'm not sure if it was just under new management, or if all recycling programs were being altered to follow some new procedure, but it suddenly made recycling a very daunting task! a magnet was sent out to put on the fridge that outlined (extensively) what was okay to recycle and what wasn't. the new program also had strict regulations: you had to wash off any food residue, remove labels, make sure there was no glue on the material, etc. etc. etc., otherwise, i assume, YOUR STUFF WOULDN'T GET RECYCLED, BUT ADDED TO A LANDFILL. some of those procedures i already did, but the other things made me a little irritated. i thought, i'm already trying to recycle and you're just making me less inclined to do so--shouldn't we be more encouraging of recycling, especially when not everyone does it to begin with??

but after more consideration and learning more about the actual necessity of what we would need to do NOW to slow down the effects of global warming, i realized this was a very small inconvenience that i should put up with, and that it wasn't even going to make that much of a difference. if everyone did it, i'm sure over time we could make some difference, but that's only if we also stop depleting resources and giving off emissions that harm the ozone. there's a ton left to be done to even keep us at the level we are now, rather than causing more damage, so i suppose taking a little extra time when i'm recycling is comparatively more manageable than i thought.

Meher, I totally understand your frustration with the inconvenience of recycling. I also agree that in reality, it's not that big of a deal. On a personal level, I can handle. However, the problem is that most people are deterred by having to clean out their cans, or remove labels. And like you said, Mo, I love that Minneapolis is biker friendly, but I wouldn't be caught dead riding my bike around because I'm so scared of getting hit by a car/bus/biker/pedestrian while keeping up with the steady flow of biker traffic. The first step is having those good intentions. I feel like the second step, acting on them, is what people really struggle with. I wonder, as designers, how we can help to change this?

Tarin Gessert

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This page contains a single entry by becke479 published on December 10, 2010 3:37 AM.

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