Incentive to Recycle
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An Ozark E-Zine

Concordant of my Ten Things list, I received thougts this week from long-time activist and kindred friend, Ruth Reynolds.

Ruth resides with dear spouse Larry in Cherokee Village (northern Arkansas). A tenaciously self-determined environmentalist who has been rigorously educating the public while at the same time "living the example" for many more years than the 15 I've known her, her hubby -- marvelous man that he is -- tolerates her affinity for and total devotion to this work, amusing himself with idle pastimes like woodworking, cabinetmaking and golf whilst she campaigns.

The pair of them have, what I have come to think of over the years, an "ideal" relationship, being mutually supportive of and collaborative with each other, being good parents and involved with family, yet still being true to each other and -- perhaps most importantly -- true to who they each independently are. But, I digress...

Ruth's current "think global, act local" campaign is, as are all her various efforts, focused on minimizing and ultimately eradicating the negative consequences of climate change engendered by the impact of human propensities upon the natural systems of the earth. In this interest, Ruth proposes a win/win solution, which is offered here in her own words:

Arkansans, wake up! Climate change is a clear and present danger.

Sir David King, chief science adviser to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, recently cited climate change as "the most serious problem we are facing today - more serious even than the threat of terrorism."

While there is no absolute means of conclusively linking unusually strong hurricanes and winter storms directly to global warming, there is unequivocal scientific evidence of alarming Earth changes, rising sea levels, melting permafrost, disappearing glaciers, migrating plant and animal species, etc. Yet by taking action in concert we may be able to avoid the  "abrupt" climate changes that scientists have warned the Pentagon could potentially happen.

What can you and I do? In addition to the usual Earth-friendly practices most of us normally follow, each of us must insist on climate saving government policies. For only one example, an Arkansas “10-Cent Incentive to Recycle" policy on beverage containers will -- among other important benefits -- reduce green house gas emissions.

According to the Container Recycling Institute , a great source of information and support, eleven states have enacted laws that place refundable deposits on specified beverage containers. These laws are called "bottle bills".

Because these state programs more than double normal beverage container recovery rates on "targeted" containers, the green house gas emissions associated with new product manufacturing go down. As most people know, the use of recycled, rather than virgin materials, to manufacture new products conserves energy; thus, heat trapping gases and other pollutants are reduced.

So yes, in light of self-evident trends toward environmental catastrophe, a state mandated refundable deposit on virtually ALL product containers -- ie: cottage cheese, milk, dish soap, shampoo, etc. -- makes even more sense. And I submit that it is time to go after the greatest benefit that can be squeezed out of a bottle bill.

So I am asking you, Gozarks readers, to campaign for a "10 Cent Incentive to Recycle" on MORE than just beverage containers here in Arkansas.

Bush waged war on Iraq with little justifiable evidence. The evidence needed to fight global warming is overwhelming. We Arkansans must set a courageous example, working for a bottle bill and other climate saving measures.

Sincerely,
Ruth Reynolds
870-257-4596
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Ten Things....
In reverence of the New Year, Gozarks offers our short list of "Ten Things YOU can to do to REALLY change the world."

1) – Be a “true friend.” Refuse gossip, decry rumor, stand accountable, show compassion, exude integrity.

2) -- Homeschool your children, at least through age 12. There is nothing that can or should be a substitute for YOU… your child's  “parent.” Trust your heart. Your sons and daughters needs and deserve your full-time attention, and if you really put your mind to it, you WILL find a way to make this happen. Forget the “rules.” Lead with your heart. Choose the choice of family.

3) – Use credit cards wisely… and of course you already know this, but if you’d really like to start reshaping the global economic system for the common good, learn to manage your cash flow so that you’re using “their” money FOR FREE for as long as possible. Trust me, if all of us did this religiously, the tide would quickly turn.

4) – Retrofit your life for energy conservation. Take this issue seriously, as if you every breath depended on it. Be aware that it truly does.

5) – Grow some vegetables. Even if it’s only a tomato plant in a 5-gallon bucket on the stoop. Why? Because when you grow food you commit an act of self-responsibility. When you share the food you’ve grown, you commit an act of love.

6) – Bake bread. And yes, baking in a handy-dandy breadmaker counts, BUT ONLY IF you put together the ingredients from scratch. Why? Do it once and see for yourself. Make sure to have some butter ready….

7) – Do something you’ve never done before. Something you just really want to do. Cross a line. Take a quantum leap. Blow minds. Make heads turn. Be somebody “different.” Be true to yourself.

8) -- Be a patriot. Express your genuine convictions. Stand apart from the crowd. Shun public approval. Exercise your liberty. Be the champion of your own cause. Put justice first. Serve in public office. Register, school yourself on the issues and vote.

9) – Plan your work. Work your plan. Live in the moment. Dream for tomorrow. Step back to take in the big picture, then step in and fine tune details. Don’t wait for a special invitation, step up to the plate. Seize every good opportunity to put creativity to work.  Stop and smell the roses, but let no moss entrap your feet.

10) – Choose to be happy. Know that happiness is 90% choice. Discard frustration. Shift into second gear and go around. If at first you don’t succeed, change the rules. Make love, not war. Immerse yourself in peace.

Do these 10 things, religiously with heartfelt dedication, and the dawn of each new day will rise to greet you. Along the way, as always, I'm wishing all of us a life worth living, filled with all those things we prefer, desire, wholeheartedly celebrate and richly deserve to enjoy, throughout 2005 and forevermore.

Christine Weiss
editor@gozarks.com

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