Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sustainability in the Center (of the Universe)

This entry might fall far - very far - from the tennis world, but it's something that has been on my mind over the past few weeks since arriving in New York City.

Being sustainable is something I work hard at each day. Sustainable can have a variety of meanings, but to me, it encompasses all those little things that we (humans) do each day to help preserve our home (earth).

Sustainability has just become a buzz word within mainstream media over the last couple of years. From hybrid cars to organic food and fair trade coffee, consumers are just starting to tap into a world that some (people much wiser than I) have known about for years.

With global warming in full force, it's scary to think of what my children's children will have to deal with as they fight to live their everyday lives.

Perhaps I've been spoiled living in Seattle, a 'green city'. However, I've been less than impressed with New York when it comes to their sustainability. Packaged food is the norm, along with a bottle of this and a can of that. Want a napkin? How about 10? It's consume, consume, consume here in the Center of the Universe.

I've worked my hardest to save all my little bags, keep the AC on for a minimal amount of time, take short showers, avoid riding in taxis; walk, bus and train as often as possible and use my handkerchiefs for clean-ups that usually call for paper.

You see to me, sustainability means small steps. Today at lunch with my favorite cousin (shout out here BFB!), she laughed at me as I pulled out my own straw from my backpack. Yes, I admit, laughable. But what isn't laughable is the fact that not one barista in this entire city has yet to recognize my coffee mug as that - a coffee mug - and whenever I order my joe and hand over my aluminum paper-saver they greet me with a puzzled gaze: "What is this?"

That, my friends, is my attempt at sustainability. New York is trying to catch on, but with a lack of recycling bins throughout the city, and a fascination with bottled water (Americans spent $15 billion on the stuff last year), we've got a long way to go.

This woman seems to have the right idea, she's going GREEN and taking her dog with her. (If you can't tell, he's green too.)

Sure, I slip up every day in one way or another, but I'm hoping we continue to struggle together, as a community, in this unfair fight we humans have picked against the earth.

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