Wednesday, July 6, 2011

water wasters

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New York shop owners, please stop hosing down the sidewalks in front of your stores. I know Manhattan is a sticky, gritty place. I know that when I walk around in shorts and sandals I come home with a layer of dirt and grime on my skin. I know these to be facts of life in this city, and I've not yet been here a year. Please just sweep. You are not getting rid of the gum stuck to the sidewalk, you are not sanitizing the urine on the sidewalk, or the dog mess. You are simply pushing it into the gutter which pushes it into the sewers which pushes it into our oceans. And right along with it you are pushing all the garbage that New Yorkers are in too much of a hurry to throw into an actual trash can. Or, which, admittedly, blow right out of their hands, purses, bags as the wind tunnels of Manhattan whip hot sticky hair around our heads. Use a broom, shop owners. And put the trash you sweep up into a trash can. They are located all throughout the streets. New Yorkers, you please do the same. Hold it for an extra two steps and then toss that straw wrapper into the trash can. This is our smoggy, dirty, gritty environment, but can't we try to take pride in it and keep it clean? In a less wasteful way? Plenty of big cities do a much better job at it than we seem to be doing - London is deliciously clean, their metro system boggles the mind with its cleanliness, it's streets are comparatively litter-free. New York can take pride in being tough, in being a make-it-or-break-it city, without having to be the dirty urban metropolis. Take a baby step, make sure your trash hits a garbage bin. It may even help the shop owners not need to hose everything down every morning.
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