Its been nearly 3 months since I’ve left the 110 degree cauldron of hell known as Texas for the Pacific Northwest. Trying to acclimate to a somewhat civilized society has been a challenge. I feel like I’m living in Encino Man, having my Neanderthal brain thawed some time in the distant future. Take for example this thing they call ‘recycling’. I haven’t recycled in about 4 years. That’s right. Every can, bottle, paper towel and biohazardous waste has gone into a single receptacle, the garbage. For every pound that PNWs (Pacific Northwesterners) recycle or compost, you can bet that 4 pounds of generic garbage has accrued in Waco alone. I tried to recycle once in Texas. I was taken to the back of a shed and beaten towards an inch of my life. They put toothpicks in my eyes and sentenced me to 4 hours of Joel Osteen rehab.
I attribute the ‘environmentalism’ in the PNW to three things: First, it seems most people here have received some sort of education. Second, they can actually see that there is a beautiful world to protect, not just a sandpit that houses fast food restaurants and gun shops. Lastly, the proximity to Canada has had a major impact on the communal conscience. People here can point to Canada on a map, and the CBC is a local broadcast station.
I think I’ll survive. So long as no one catches me recycling food soiled paper towels.