Should I Become an Eco Hall Monitor?

Last week I received a little pamphlet from the city about a new recycling/energy efficiency program they are kicking into gear focusing on the collective ecopower of modern communal livers..aka..apartment dwellers. NYC

Awhile back I too considered the positive side of compact living and certainly have plenty of opinions and ideas for what I would like to see done. (Although…my community progress has been…quite frankly sad.) What the program really comes down to is creating not so glorified hall monitors.hall

The city would send a building representative for a course on recycling and offer evaluation tools and supplies with the hope that said rep would go back and whip the building and its tenants into eco shape.

Now…I am of two minds on this. The education & supplies part would be great. However…it seems to me with either people recycle or they don’t. Not sure how to change that.

I know our board president, who has a lot more power than the little ol’ Needle, has an eye for the green but hasn’t had a whole lot of success pushing green policies through. (Although…we did get light timers put in the laundry room which must save those lights hours of shining.) Now I know there are some diligent recyclers and others who are just open minded to new ideas.

Buuuuuuuuut there are also those who are still thrown for a loop by our 4 part recycling system(glass, paper, metal, 1&2 plastic…which included pictures…yes pictures…above the cans…in color.

AND even worse than that…again…to be frank…there are a lot of miserable f***ing people in the world…and many of them have chosen my little corner of the earth to plant their cranky asses. These particular people complain endlessly about the slightest imperfection in their day…like having to pass toddler art on a neighbor’s door on their way to their own perfect abode. And they know everything of course. You know…the if they don’t already do it-it isn’t worth doing sort of people…because how on earth could someone else know better. Do I really think any of the self-absorbed set are going to take ten seconds to even HEAR a new idea let alone try it? And more importantly do I want to be the do-gooder that all of their fury is aimed at? And these are totally the types who love to find a fatal flaw…like the fact that I have a car. Don’t know if I could handle the scrutiny…I’m not exactly green perfection. And I do have to actually live with these people. Hell some of these grumps are even my friends. Well…were…before this post. As much as I would like to see strides made in our building in the form of energy efficiency – just don’t know if I want my name or face attached…rather be a suggester and ducker…you know…an eco-weenie. Seriously…I have enough people throwing food at me during the day. At least I hope it’s food.

9 Responses to “Should I Become an Eco Hall Monitor?”

  1. Added by TheGreenCat on June 24th, 2008 at 10:27 am

    I hear you Needle. I thought about this as well since my neighbors can’t seem to recycle properly but I think either folks do it or not and they aren’t going to respond positively to having a neighbor nag them about it. Still, it makes me sad when I find Starbucks cups in the paper recycling bin and full bags of trash in with the plastics.

  2. Added by organicneedle on June 24th, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Exactly GreenCat. I am very curious as to what they offer in terms of education and supplies. Do they give out CFLs, light timers, etc. or just ideas…which might be great too. Our board pres. had been trying to get a city evaluation for a green roof, but not sure what became of that. Those kind of projects don’t really involve any effort by the shareholders…and therefore would be much more enjoyable and productive. Maybe after I speak with the pres. I will have a better understanding of the scope of the job.

  3. Added by organicneedle on June 24th, 2008 at 11:09 am

    It seems that they are just focusing on the recycling aspect- but I would imagine energy efficiency must come into play too, no?

  4. Added by Heather @ SGF on June 24th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t know if this is possible for you or not, but we’ve thought of doing it here in our neighborhood – telling the neighbors that if they set out their recyclables on the curb (or for you on their doorstep) at a certain day of the week, we’d come by and pick it up. We haven’t actually done this yet, but I get so tired of seeing all the recyclables in the trash. And you wouldn’t be nagging anyone, you would be offering to help. Maybe you could find a few other like-minded people in the building who could help you pick the bags up so you wouldn’t have to do it every week.

  5. Added by organicneedle on June 24th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Heather- that sounds like a good idea if people are having a problem getting their recyclies to a location. Here we have recycle room on every floor. Plus we have a porter who will come and help the elderly if they are having a problem carrying their stuff the 10 feet to the room. The porter takes all the stuff from the 12 recycle rooms and prepares it for the city to pick up. There isn’t really a way to make that part any easier. But if your neighborhood doesn’t have curbside pick up…I think that is a great thing for you and your husband to do. I can see that being a real stumbling block for some people.

  6. Added by Melissa on June 27th, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I’d definitely be too scared to tell my neighbors what to do. Some people seem naturally born to encourage people to do the right thing, and others, like me, are totally wimpy about it, so I totally understand your reluctance. I’ve decided for me leading by example is the best I can do.

  7. Added by TheGreenCat on June 29th, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Not related to recycling, but on the conservation/city department front, the DEP offers free water conservation kits to all NYC residents. You need to request it and it’s only one per household but there is some useful stuff in there (aerators, low flow showerhead, measuring tools, etc). See my blog post with link about it here: http://tinyurl.com/5ttvo6

  8. Added by organicneedle on June 30th, 2008 at 5:34 am

    Melissa- My neighbors have been told what and how to do…with pictures & letters. Short of interpretive dance, I’m not sure what I could offer.

    Greencat- I am going to send for that kit today. Maybe it will balance my bad water karma for letting the kids play in the sprinkler all day.

  9. Added by Beany on July 1st, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Does anyone want to hear that no one on my entire block recycles? I’m living in some sort of global-warming Hellmouth. we’re already the sound monitors (telling everyone to PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD to turn their beloved music down). I am not sure I can handle being an eco-monitor as well.

    One day this eco-nuttery will be trendy and cool and then everyone will know how to do everything well.

    Sorry for the rant.

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