It begins...

So, as of today I am officially taking on my condo association about their lack of a recycling program. What follows is a letter I wrote to them about the letter (I think it's polite and to the point). Updates on the situation will follow if anything happens or, for that matter, if anything doesn't. I fully intend to be a pain in the ass until someone listens.

Dear Condo Board –

I am writing to you about something that has concerned me for quite some time, namely ***** Loft’s lack of a recycling program. Since we moved into our unit about three years ago, there has been talk about how our association is considering options and will be getting something in place ‘soon.’ Eventually this talk (and even the signs about it on our floor’s trash room) has disappeared. Does this apparent lack of discussion mean that a plan has been made, or does it mean that the whole matter is on the back burner? Currently I am forced to haul my recyclables to work every day on my back while biking in to work; it’s not really a big issue because doing the chore every day keeps the amount low. However, when we do things like entertain guests and go through some cases of beer, I wind up throwing all those bottles out because I don’t exactly feel it’s appropriate to being that kind of waste into my work place. I have a feeling that efforts like mine are in the minority in the building, and that most of the recyclable waste goes straight down the trash chutes, and into landfill; that’s an awful amount of mess for one building that could be routed to other use.
Is there any way that we’re going to see something happen on this any time soon? The Chicagoland area has a wide variety of options that could be explored in terms of waste management and recycling; it really is our civic responsibility to do something about reducing our waste. Beyond that, residential buildings with five units or greater are required to offer a recycling program to its occupants; this info is accessible by just google searching ‘city of Chicago residential recycling,’ clicking on ‘multi-unit buildings’ under residential recycling, and reading that page. For your convenience, I will quote the page here directly:

“If you live in a building of five units or greater, you are serviced by a private waste hauler, which is mandated by law to recycle applicable materials. Your building management is also required to offer you an effective recycling program, which is defined by three things: source reduction and separation, an education program and a written recycling plan.”

I hate to be the squeaky wheel, but this is something that has bothered me since we moved in, and I have grown impatient with waiting around to see our association do anything about it; I would much rather my assessment fees go to something like this that matters in the long run, rather than re-blacktopping the parking lot. Please give the matter some serious consideration.

Here are some good sites to check out:

The Resource Center of Chicago - www.resourcecenterchicago.org - This company will arrange residential pickup, and guarantees that 90% of their waste actually is reused. They have been active in the Chicago area for 30 years and are very well-respected.

Chicago Recycling Coalition – www.chicagorecycling.org – this site offers some great tips and ‘how to’s’ about residential recycling.

Finally, please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help this process move along; it’s one thing to voice a complaint, but it’s another all together to try to actually do something about the matter to help change be made. Feel free to email me blah@blah.com with any questions, suggestions, or responses you might have.

Sincerely yours,

Lisa L*****, #***

This made me snicker a little...

I'm sure the religious folk who were protesting against the Harry Potter series because it allegedly taught their kids witchcraft and promoted Satanism are pleased about this one.

Low-rise bike shorts/knickers are foolish...


Before I forget

Here is the flier for the Sadie Hawkins ride and race in Chicago. All you cyclists out there really should make it if you can; people even come in from around the country to participate. It's a really fun night. Even better, if you want to help out, please click on the img, print it out, and post it up wherever you think interested cyclists might see it. Thanks!

Changing Seasons

Welcome to fall and hibernation. Sometimes I feel that I might be part bear. It is inevitable that around this time of year, I begin the downward slide into sloth. This last Tuesday the urge hit me hard as I fought to stay awake while reading some mind-numbing article for my Archives course; finally this learning-induced coma won out, and I found myself turning off my book light and going to sleep at 9:30pm for the first time I could remember (at least while I wasn't battling some sort of vicious flu or SARS) in my own hazy recollections.
This irresistible pull towards dreamland is accompanied by the unrelenting urge to consume food at completely inappropriate hours, perhaps due to some kind of latent instinctual drive to gain the body mass that will feed me through my long winter's slumber. I only manage to avoid making a complete pig of myself by keeping the cupboards bare, and my husband's own snacking urges perpetually unfulfilled.
My increased levels of restorative sleep and nourishment don't leave me with any sort of increased energy levels; instead, I rely on my morning's bike commute in the crisp fall air to act as my surrogate demitasse of espresso. While I appreciate the health benefits I've gained by cutting caffeine out of my diet and adding exercise, I do wish my wake-up call could leave me less sweaty and disheveled when I arrive at work. All that aside, I really am looking forward to taking on the challenge of winter bike commuting. I've bought a vast array of over-the-top bike lights to make motorists more aware of me through the winter evening's gloom, or at least induce such epileptic seizures in offending drivers that they're too busy trying to recover to be able to spray me with sludge, graze me with their rear-view mirrors, or beep furiously at me for having the audacity of taking up their valuable lane space. Wish me luck and send me warm thoughts - I'm off to contemplate the snack and nap that are not the in the cards for me.


Call for a general strike

What follows is a pretty interesting editorial that someone posted on a forum I'm involved with that appeared in Harper's Magazine. I'm not really sure how plausible the idea is, but it would be interesting to see if anyone would commit to it. Personally, I could never afford to leave work until the end of such a strike, but I have no problem with at least taking the first day off as a statement, and then doing as the author suggests by stopping consuming beyond the basic needs to live. Anyway, here it is, for all you tree huggers out there:

Specific suggestion: