By Tom Lamkin, City Councilor
Sedona AZ (January 25, 2018) – Happy New Year Sedona. I am excited about the potential for 2018 to become the best year ever for many reasons. As you know, Sedona citizens recently had an opportunity to participate in a Citizen Survey about Sedona. I appreciate the time many of you took to respond to the survey as it provides a good base for what direction Sedona could head in 2018. Results overall were very positive regarding how safe people feel in Sedona and what a great place it is to visit. The natural beauty is always a cause for great satisfaction to those living in Sedona. In addition there seemed to be a strong desire for increased efforts to conserve water and be better stewards of the surrounding forests. People also felt strongly about how Sedona might invest in the future in regard to specific services as well as policies and programs that improve sustainability. I encourage you to look into the survey results and see how many in Sedona responded to the survey as there is too much to cover in this article.
However, what I would like to discuss is how we might improve just one of the issues regarding sustainable practices that really do not require a large financial investment. I am instead asking you to consider making a New Year’s resolution to make an investment in knowledge so you can make more informed choices and help your neighbors to be more aware of how they too can help. I am talking about how we can become better stewards of the land by managing our trash more effectively. You guessed it, recycling. I think the best thing you could do would be to consider a visit to Sedona Recycles to learn the best practices on ways to recycle. There is a great deal of information there and if you become a member you gain many more benefits you can use to help even more.
I must admit I thought I was doing my part by having a second separate trash can for recyclable materials. I trusted my trash hauler who must know the best way to recycle. As I discovered, there are many ways I can help before my hauler comes into the picture. It starts not by looking at the end of the cycle, but at the beginning. If I can reduce the amount of trash and materials to recycle I am able to do better. If I could eliminate all trash then that would be best. It seems that I need to make better choices not just when I sort my trash to get it in the right place, but rather select my trash from the beginning where it has greater impact.
That means that when I make purchases, I need to consider which product is most friendly to the landfill. For example, should I buy eggs in the plastic carton or the cardboard carton? Should I buy organic soup in a can or in a paper/plastic box? Should I buy iced tea by the six-pack or the gallon jug (better yet, why don’t I make my own and eliminate any containers to recycle)? Should I choose paper or plastic? Or, would it be wiser to put my purchases in that cloth bag I bought locally? Or, would it be even wiser to use a bag that I bought locally that is made out of recycled materials?
I need to rethink everything. Then I can make wiser choices than I do today, refusing to use products that are part of the problem rather than the answer. Please invest in yourself and go to Sedona Recycles. Learn, become a member, discover the truth and begin to Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
The opinions expressed above are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the other members of the Sedona City Council.