Keep America Beautiful

image credit – Google

“Keep America Beautiful.” That was the tag line on the back of snack foods when I was growing up. It meant do your part. Throw your trash out. Remember the commercial with a Native American man crying? Here it is:

Then came the public service announcement to recycle. On the radio, a few teenage girls swooning over a guy walking toward them—but when he throws away his aluminum can instead of recycling it, he gets a thumbs down, “Eeewww!” they wince in unison. Long before Obama said, “Yes. We Can”  we had our bumper sticker on our mailbox. I’m sure one of us kids put it there. I doubt it was a place Mom would’ve chosen. Yes. We Can. Referred to recycling aluminum cans.

We live in such an abundant country—even now, when people are unemployed. Even when taxes go up. I think we’ve come to a point where we’ve confused gluttony with abundance. We want, want, want. But just as in current politics, there’s no compromise. We expect community services—and low taxes. We expect good schools and healthcare—but don’t fund them, and don’t make a plan for how funding will happen. If we do fund something, we often lack the follow-up to ensure the money’s spent wisely.

We say, “What a shame to see litter” but we allow our buddy to leave their popcorn bag in the movie theater instead of saying to them, “Take your own garbage to the trash can.” A few weeks ago I saw a woman in a store leaving her sample food cup and spoon in an aisle. I called her on it, pointing out the trashcan. At first she laughed, then got mad at me. She saw her act of leaving her trash as giving someone else a job!

However you do it, Keep America Beautiful! It doesn’t have to cost a thing. It can begin with a smile, or behaving well in a parking lot, whether you’re the pedestrian or driver. Whatever you decide to do, be committed. It may lead to picking up a stray piece of paper near your mailbox, or going on neighborhood walks wearing a glove and carrying a bag to pick up some litter.

Let’s bring back some neighborhood pride, America. Stand beside her, and guide her. She’s worth it!


It’s Not the Recession – It’s You.

Thanks Google Image for icon


I’ve heard from people their life’s been effected by the recession. With a bit more information, I learn they still have their job, their house or apartment—and their lifestyle of spending. “But gas prices are so high!” Yes. “That store doesn’t  have discounts like they used  to.” True. These do have some impact. But these aren’t elderly folks on fixed income telling me their sad story. These are adults with Smartphones (not just a phone for an emergency.) “Well, I don’t have a landline.” Well, if you’re paying $100.00 a month for a phone and worried about your budget, you may want to do some homework and look at the cost comparison. No, it’s not convenient. Neither is being in debt.

Do you buy bottled water? Beer? Soda? You know you pay .05 cents on each can/bottle for a recycling fee, so why not take the empty ones back to a recycling center. If there’s one close to you, consider it. You won’t get rich off it, but you could think of it as helping the environment, or, as half the cost of a gallon of ice cream! I’m not advocating “dumpster diving” but as someone who lives close to a recycle center, I see the value. Environmental and financial. I take my receipt to the grocery store (they give a grocery receipt instead of cash here.) I feel I’ve made “ice cream money” and saved some money at the store. When I have 2-3 garbage bags full, I turn them in. I hate clutter, and feel $3 – $7  is great for any trip to the store, and no junk on my patio. (Please, oh please tell me even if you don’t collect money for recycling, that you recycle.)

If your kids like to collect cans and bottles, have them wear gloves. Bees and wasps love that sweet, sticky smell on soda cans, or even water bottles if the weather’s been real hot and dry.

Bottoms up!