The Aging Hippie Strikes Again ! By Andrew Mungo
In the spirit of the current film, Tomorrow, here's one of Andrew's many stories about doing what you can to make a difference.
Way back in the ancient days of climate awareness when recycling was first imposed I was so much the aging hippie that I though a new law would mean everybody would pitch in. I likened it to Victory Gardens during World War 11. We were all in it together.
I was living in a apartment complex with a maintenance man on site. He was always around which was good. He never left because he had a court-imposed ankle bracelet. He was naughty but friendly. He was largely useless and I described him as an amiable. drug-addled, alcoholic dysfunctional.
When the guy finally was fired and tossed out I recall a conversation with another tenant who said we couldn't do worse but in fact we did do worse. The new guy was a surly, drug-addled, alcoholic dysfunctional. Amiable was better than surly.
Anyway back then I realized I was the only one in the complex doing recycle. There was always a huge pile of trash and only a tiny bit of recycle. I spoke to that first maintenance guy when I noticed his tossing everything together. Of the new recycle law he said, amiably, "I don't botha wid it." Then he went back to his can of Budweiser. He always seemed to have a can of Budweiser working.
Later, when he was gone, I asked the new, surly guy where he wanted the recycle. He drank even cheaper beer that he bought by the 12-pack in Seabrook to save the deposit nickel. Well he didn't have an ankle bracelet so he was free to travel.There were always piles of cheap rotgut beer cans everywhere.
Anyway I asked the second guy where he wanted the recycle and he said, "I dunno. Nobody said nuthin' to me about it."
So recycling took a bit to take hold but now we're rolling right along.
In the end the first maintenance man managed to get rid of his ankle bracelet and now lives not too far away. I see him now and then and he is still amiable. The second maintenance man also was fired though not simply for being surly. I hear from the first guy that the second guy now wears an ankle bracelet. I didn't ask why.