I have just returned home to North Texas after visiting what is arguably the recycling capital of the known universe … the Pacific Northwest.
I stayed three nights with my sis and her husband just north of Vancouver, Wash., but was able to travel during the day across the river to Portland where I visited with friends.
So, what’s the point here? Everywhere I went in Washington and then in Oregon I found evidence of that region’s environmental awareness. I found recycling bins next to trash bins. You put your cans and plastic bottles into the bins full of such material; you tossed the trash into the other bin.
I stopped to purchase something at a grocery store in North Portland, where — I understand — they no longer send groceries home with you in plastic bags. Oh, no. Now they “sell” you paper bags at a nickel apiece if you put your goods into them; in that moment, I chose not to carry my two small items out of the store with no bag.
Furthermore, I am proud these days to be living in a Collin County community, Princeton, where we recycle our household material in addition to sending trash off to the dump.
It makes me proud because, to be blunt and candid, I was quite unproud of Amarillo, where we lived for 23 years before moving to Princeton, which didn’t encourage its residents to recycle certain products. It sends everything to the dump. That’s not good, folks.
So, I have returned home after another brief visit to the region of my birth. I am proud to be a son of the Northwest, of Portland. Why? Because of that region’s enhanced environmental awareness. I now am proud to be living in a place that is exhibiting a growing environmental awareness.
It’s strange that my new home is feeling more like my old home.