Friday, March 2, 2007

Environmental crisis

I was having a conversation with one of my mexican friends yesterday, and he asked me ¨There must be things about Mexico that you dont like - what are they?¨

The first thing that leaps into my mind is the sorry state of recycling, and more generally environmental consciousness, in this country.

The only visible form of recycling I have seen comes in two forms:
- returning your beer bottles, you get back about 3 pesos that you had put down as a deposit earlier.. and off they go to be used again by Corona and Sol.
- The separation of organic and inorganic rubbish in parks and some other public places.

But that leaves untouched so many other materials that are just being wasted. There is NO recycling system set up in houses - milk bottles, containers, everything just gets thrown into the same rubbish bin. I feel suffocated, I have no outlet to try and take action and recycle my rubbish! And the overuse of plastic bags in stores is somewhat pathogenic.

I have talked to a number of mexican people about this and they say, 'yes it's a problem. but we're lazy.' I have also questioned a number of people on why they put up with the shocking traffic in this city, and why not take the metro instead of bearing the painful commute by car. For example when speaking to my friend yesterday, he said 'the thought of my car and the environment wouldnt have crossed my mind if you hadnt mentioned it'. AH!

But there are some flickers of light. There is generally wise use of water here in houses. And the metro is always packed with people - people who are not in cars. Also apparently there are recycling centres where you can go and take all your stuff - this will mean that I will have to create a collection of rubbish in the corner of my room, and oneday jump in a cab across town to this site. Taking the crowded metro, laden with large bags of rubbish, is just not feasible. ¡Hijole!

1 comment:

Nari said...

Yeah! No recycling was one thing that bothered me greatly too. I think some Aussie company should scout out the possibilities of starting something in Mexico.
If there's $$$ to be made, I'd say Mexican business would get involved. But if it costs the general population anything (particularly anything other than minimal effort), they're probably having a hard enough time putting tortillas on the table. (Mmmm... tortillas.)
The other thing that bothered me was the lack of acceptance of homosexuality. I think this'll change somewhat as our generation grows up - many friends I talked to were less 'against it' than their parents. Although I noted an equivalent of "metrosexual" in Mexican lingo is "medio-gay"!
But at it's heart, the anti-gay thing seems all about machismo and a lack of accepting difference. Which is strange in a country with such a history of activism against 'the system'...
Maybe they need a campaign to show it's 'totalmente macho' to recycle - crushing cans with your bare fist perhaps?