Last week’s Climate Change Action March in New York City was a phenomenal success showcasing just how many very motivated brilliant leaders can build a coordinated effort. In the wake of the worlds largest Environmental Action of all time criticism has aroused about garbage left on the parade route. Having reduced waste in large public venues and events reading these ideas has spurred the following response:
We all agree that the dominant paradigm has to shift. On Sunday I started at the front of the March, followed leaders to 42nd Street, then walked backwards through the march to the end. I saw an fairly clean route, due in no small part to the lack of garbage cans. Knowing that wherever a garbage can is plunked a pile of garbage evolves and that a recycling can may help with source separation it doesn’t address the root cause, unecessary objects carried by people who don’t understand why they carrying them. We’ve been marketed to learn to carry water bottles, paper napkins, pudding cups with foil tops, throw away forks, a plastic disposable bag to put our several bags of diverse snack food in. This holds true whether at the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival or a Yankees Game.
The underlying need is to reteach ourselves that in most circumstances we can go 4 hours with out a drink of water. When needed we can carry water in a reusable container. Places this would be appropriate would be a hike through the wilderness, a long bike ride in the country, or a trip into outerspace. Urban centers have many businesses including restaurants who should and do support causes as important as finding solutions to Climate Change Calling upon them to welcome marcher who have been overcome by thirst to sit and have a cool glass of water. While the calls to action in this march are varied the central theme is that we all need to pull together, or perish.
If you’ve ever organized a big event you know my proposal above sounds preposterous. If you’ve ever been on the financial side of a big event you know how compelling the selling of water by the bottle can be. It is time to bite the bullet, provide for free what is a basic human need. Your parents did it, your grandparents did it, and I did it. Lived in a world without water bottles. We more than survived and thrived, we knew when we were thirsty because we were allowed to experience thirst. We were more resilient and didn’t waste as much time seeking fluids we didn’t need.
I’m officially throwing down the gauntlet for all green events and festivals.
Give the people water.