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September 18, 2018

Earth Week Is Coming – You Can Make A Difference


I do not recall the date, but clearly remember the moment, when a couple of friends of mine approached me about investing in a company that was making “conversion” kits for the Volkswagen beetle.

These kits would turn your “slug-a-bug” game or in the case of a few in our group, their flower power car, into a dune buggy. Now being the owner of a Dodge Challenger convertible and a cult follower of anything mopar, I was not interested.

DUMB IDEA……needless to say; even though it was a fad of sorts these two went on to make a lot of money.

Investing in your future comes in many forms. Maybe you go after an education to secure a comfortable position that pays you well.

You take on leadership and walk in shoes that put you in the crosshairs of the public eye.

You value family, friends, and the simple moments in life that the “busy” crowd chooses to never see.

Whatever path(s) you choose to walk down, you have some control over your destiny.

All of those investments in life, good or bad, all of those choices you make daily, and all that shapes you will still put you into one group.

We all share a responsibility to take care of our planet.

Now let me clarify, I am not a “tree hugger” don’t know a maple from an ash tree, still get confused over which plastic is recyclable and which type is not. I don’t care if you smoke, I don’t, yet, get upset with the idiot who thinks they can flip their cigarette butt out of the car window and it bounces off my windshield.

I am fully aware of the roadside trash, the litter from fast food, the select few who feel that they do not have to make arrangements for trash removal and dump anywhere and those who feel it is easier to just throw things out of the car window.

I cannot change those who will not make an attempt to do what’s right.

I cannot wrap myself around the concept of cleaning up the entire planet. Of what I am aware, is that we have some amazing areas right here in our own neighborhoods. We have it all: forests, trails, lakes, streams, green space, recreational spots, sporting areas and so much more.

So as the legislative member who sits on the EMC Committee (Environmental Management Council) for the County of Oswego, I have finally decided that I am going to get off of my comfy chair sometime during Earth Week, and go out to join a group and pick up the trash and litter of those who do not care about our counties, towns, villages, and neighborhood assets.

My goal is to fill one trash bag.

Depending on the spot, that could be a quick commitment, or maybe not.

Will it make a difference? In the big picture of things, nah, not so much.

I will feel better for a couple of reasons: I will have engaged in something new for me and……well, if another 500 or 600 people in this county did the same, then maybe we kick the door open a little.

I will go with a group who can tell me, “No, wait, that is recyclable!” Then maybe in the long-run my goal will have to be modified to learn new information and have two bags — one for recyclables and one for trash.

If you would like to join in to help “clean up the earth” in Oswego County, EMC suggests you organize a group or join one to clean up a local park or green space.

You can call 343-4565 or visit www.co.oswego.ny.us/earthweek.html to sign up for an Earth Week cleanup project or for more information.

James Karasek,
Oswego County Legislator

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