Friday, July 01, 2011

Neighboring Fun!

On the roof of Scott's house

I do love me some virtual reality activism, such as The Progressive Slate where I can help raise money for progressive causes with the click of a mouse, or the occasional petition thru sites such as . But there's no substitute for F2F, everyday human contact whereever you go, and whereever you are. Humans need human contact, and there's no substitute for actually putting a plant in soil or helping recycle materials that would otherwise go into the landfill.The Puget Sound region has so many opportunities for such hands-on activism that it's really just a question of deciding what you're interested in and what fits into your lifestyle. Freecycle, Sustainable West Seattle and (or favor) donating & shopping at thrift stores enable us to enjoy a much better standard of living than if we had stuck to our older, more wasteful ways. Making these a habit seems to re-orient life so that sustainable action, rather than waste, can become the default move.
This can pay off in funny ways. Last money I helped our new neighbors Scott & Dolores with some yard work; the house they bought had been vacant for a while and there was serious undergrowth to clean out. They were going to dumpster it all, and I thought, "Hey, that's biomass I need for my compost pile!" It worked out well for all of us: I took the biomass which helped my raised beds, they got a lower dumpster fee, the community got a little be less in the landfill.
Likewise, we tackled the old garage, where I scored some CD shelves that I took to the Mercer Island Thrift Store. There they fit neatly in a small blank wall space in the book area where I'd been wanting to promote board books. Everybody won on that one!
Sunday we took this principle "to new heights". Their house has an old-school TV antenna on top, which has no function since the coming of cable; all it does is place stress on the roof. He could have hauled his ladder from their place in Auburn but since we're neighbors I just lent him mine, which gave me the opportunity to climb up on his roof and see the world from a different spot as we undid the bolts. I couldn't resist the urge to pull out my camera; photos that you take of yourself tend to have a goofy quality but now I'll always remember meeting and beating that rooftop challenge!
Being active can be fun!

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