Green Musings of an Eco Resort

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This Day in......White?

This Day in White: In Snowy Syracuse, a December That's Whiter Than Usual

I find that no matter where you are, people always wonder what its like to be where someone else is. We obviously get that a lot living here on St. John, and usually for positive reasons. But often times we also wonder about what it would be like to be in a place that is extremely different, but maybe not in a paradisaical kind of way. I was checking up on the weather and came across a now very popular article in the Times about Syracuse, NY and the insane amount of snow they have gotten already. We can become used to anything as humans given enough conditioning. Residents on St. John can be seen in long sleeves when it drops below 74, and glassblowers can take something off the grill with their bare hand and not even think twice about it. Who needs tongs when you handle molten glass from 2 feet away all day long? At some point we just accept what is around us as "it is" or "we just do". The residents of Syracuse have obviously learned to cope with 6 ft mounds of snow everywhere (I don't even think they consider it coping, just going about life).

Lets take it a step further though and look at the phenomena of accepting as is from a green aspect. How many of us have been recycling for our entire lives? Many communities and even countries are way ahead of the curve (based on the US curve) when it comes to this, but many are on that upper slope. As someone in my late twenties, I honestly didn't start until I moved here. It wasn't something that was deemed overly important in my community in TN. Sure, we had people come talk and parents volunteer in elementary school to show us how, but it never got to the point where "we just do". The same is actually true for St. John up until recently (last two years) when St. John Recycling Committee started putting out recycling bins all over the island. There was a time when they were new and cool and we were excited. Now they are just there and we just put cans in them, as we should.

As conservation, recycling, and "greenness" become more and more prevalent in every day life and conversation, we will see a shift in our society and communities where these practices aren't special. Composting in Cambridge, Mass, for example, will never get a front page headline since everyone gets free composting bins and you can get fined for having too much waste. However, one building making that pledge in a community somewhere else may receive a lot of attention and be lead innovators. It will be nice one day when the Green/Environmental section of the newspaper becomes pretty much ignored because it is no longer unique or special. Who wants to read about normal things we all do? It would be like a section devoted to people drinking water and breathing in air. One day clean energy and recycling/conservation will be nothing out of the ordinary in our every day life, but looking forward to that day we know that it will in fact be special when we have reached a critical mass.

I miss a good white Christmas. If anyone from Syracuse is reading this, I will trade a jar of sand for a jar of snow.


Anonymous said...

Nice blog... I was just down there and I was surprised that Majo didn't have composting ... I can also guess why they don't..... alive things are so prevalent there..
but if the compost was in a sealed container?

Dan said...

Our place is in Cato; some 30 miles from Syracuse. There is about 4-5 feet of snow on the ground right now. Skiing and snowshoeing are good and the weather is cold bit fine. Wife Kitty and I will be making our first trip to Maho Bay January 22nd. We are very much looking forward to it. Doubt that the jar of snow will make it non-liquid :)
Dan Hayes