Natural Living Des Moines


Teenagers, Environment Iowa, and Consistency by sarahtar
April 30, 2008, 7:51 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

First, let me say, I have nothing against Environment Iowa, except that maybe their volunteer training is a bit lacking.

Here’s why I say that. Last night, two teenagers (late teens, boys) from Environment Iowa knocked on our door. I didn’t answer, I was working in the basement, but my husband did and I listened in on the monitor. (It’s part of my sophisticated Front Door Monitoring system – the baby monitor we bought when my dad was ill and never actually used with a baby!) The boys were earnest if unpolished in their presentation and request for a donation or signature on a petition for the Legislature (hint: they’ve recessed). They were very polite and actually responded happily when my husband said that he didn’t disagree with what they were saying, but that we have a policy against giving money or signing anything presented by strangers canvassing the neighborhood. (Normally, people get very snotty at that point, and these kids were super polite.) So, fine.

About 10 minutes later, we were walking to our polling place to vote and passed the boys. One of them was smoking. (smoking is really bad for your health and the health of those around you, as well as terrible for the environment.) And then, as we watched, he tossed his still smoking cigarette butt onto the ground and walked away. Littering!!

It’s well and good to try to save the environment on a grand scale – clean up the water, clean up the air, make the Legislature do something – but saving the environment starts with the little decisions we all make every day. I hope that message is one that this website makes clear.


2 Comments so far
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I’m shocked that you, who is all about green living, would denigrate young people who have chosen a JOB, not just a lifestyle, to raise awareness and organize to protect the environment! Think how much we would accomplish if EVERY teenager went door to door talking to people about the need for legislation to protect the environment.

Secondly, smoking is an addiction- it’s not that easy to just drop it, even if you care about the environment. It’s not like remembering to turn off the lights when you leave a room.

Comment by Harold

I’m sorry if you misunderstood, I wasn’t “denigrating” anyone. I will say, I’m not for most of the legislation these people were promoting. I’m not into forcing people to choose the same things I’d choose, and all the Clean Air Acts in the world won’t help us much if people come smoke on my sidewalk so I can smell their toxins.

I really don’t think that every teenager in the world knocking on doors about the environment would accomplish much more than encouraging people not to answer their doors.

Smoking might be an addiction, but I don’t think that littering is. Is it?

All I’m saying is that so many times people don’t realize how their actions contradict their words. Someone who throws his garbage on my sidewalk doesn’t have a very strong message about how much he cares about the environment.

But, you’re welcome to your opinion and I’m glad you’re reading and commenting!

Comment by sarahtar




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