A couple nights ago outside of the C-Town grocery store in Astoria, Queens, we GSpotted this guy recycling. His name is Sidney and he is a professional recycler. When we met Sidney, he was man-handling a whole lot of cardboard and compacting it in his nifty truck, afterwhich it is driven to the dump to be made into something new.
We asked Sidney if he considered his job eco-friendly. He answered, of course he did. We then asked if he does anything else eco-friendly. He said, "Oh my goodness. There are all sorts of things. Just being friendly alone helps."
From the mouths of recyclers. Because what is "going green" or environmental stewardship if there isn't kindness and goodwill between humans?
Speaking of which, yesterday at the Goodwill Thrift store near the CTown where Sidney was recycling, we witnessed a slight altercation between an over-worked (and presumably underpaid) sales associate and an opinionated customer standing in the check out line line. So Mr Opinionated Customer makes a comment about an overpriced suitcase another gentleman was purchasing, which is arguably not his business in the first place. Ms Pissed Saleswoman proceeds to tell him that it isn't his business and he should stay out of other people's transactions. Mr OC promptly answers, why don't you let me have my own conversations, to which Ms PS retors, "And that's why you probably lost your job in this economy. I got a job, but with all these layoffs and opinions like yours - I bet youd don't." From there it just degraded into a 5th graders word flinging fight.
In an attempt to calm the mood, we GSpotters began mumbling about recycling clothing, a new administration, Change, what-have-you- but to no avail. We left the store wishing that everyone was like Sidney. Because being eco-friendly starts with being friendly, and all ultimately leads to a higher consciousness and connection with the earth.