Happy Earth Day and Bike, Walk, Bus Week

by Pete Talbot

Today, I’m optimistic about our Earth. There was a large crowd at the Earth Day festivities in Missoula on Sunday, despite the Arctic-like weather. There was music and info tables and hemp products and hybrid cars and local food sources and green building materials … and little kids and college-age kids mingling with the older types, such as myself.

Officially, Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22, but we’re celebrating it all week long here in the Garden City. Bike, Walk, Bus Week segues nicely into the mix with free bus rides April 19 – 26.

Sunday’s event started off awkwardly for me. I’d spent most of the day sorting and cleaning glass that had accumulated in my garage over the past few months. When I got to Caras Park, they were done crushing all the glass they needed and weren’t accepting any more.

But I took that as a good sign. There’s obviously a big demand for glass recycling in the Missoula area. I guess I’ll just drop my glass off in Bozeman the next time I’m passing through.

(Bozeman recycles glass. Fewer things irk me more than Bozeman getting a leg up on Missoula on the environmental front. C’mon Missoula, get with it!)

So, kudos to Missoula Urban Demonstration Project (MUD) for hosting Sunday’s event, the Clark Fork Coalition for putting on the river clean-up party on Saturday and all the other organizations doing their bit this week. Let’s try to practice Earth Day everyday.

(Here’s a link to a thoughtful New York Times piece asking the question, “Why Bother?” and talking about the individual things we can do, like gardening. Tip o’ the hat, again, to Juniper.)

  1. Here at TitanTv, we’re so proud to hear that everyone is chipping in and doing their best to participate in Earth Day 2008. Here is a funny piece we did, while informing people in the streets of New York, how they, too, can have a great April 22nd.


  2. ken spencer

    Umm, I’m pretty sure we don’t recycle glass here in Bozeman. True, we collect it, but it’s not being recycled…that’s according to a city councilman. BTW, there’s a great article on Bilerico.com regarding your library! http://www.bilerico.com/2008/04/big_sky_country_gets_bigger.php

  3. petetalbot


    Thanks for the link to that great piece by Patricia Nell Warren.

    Bozeman doesn’t recycle its glass? I’ve seen those big bins at various collection points around town that are full of glass. What does Bozeman do with the stuff? Someone tell me, please.

  4. jhwygirl

    Just because they collect it doesn’t mean they recycle it, Pete. I think that is what Ken is saying.

    Back in Wyoming, they collected it but they didn’t recycle it.

    It just made people feel good.

    At least in Bozeman there are a couple of artists that pick the stuff up – there is at least one commercial glass tile company there, but I seriously doubt that they are utilizing anything more than a small portion of that which people are throwing in those bins.

  5. Jay Stevens

    Yeah, I’ve heard a similar complaint about recycling glass here in Missoula. There’s plenty of glass, just not much market for the recycled stuff.

    Man, what a topic for a post! If anyone’s interested, a friend of mine was considering buying a glass crusher. You could find out the deal with glass here, offer some solutions…

  6. I remember earth day April 22, 1973. James Monteith, the newly hired executive director of the Oregon Wilderness Coalition had his long blond hair stuck under the hood of a ’66 datsun pickup. He was making repairs to the grease splattered engine with duct tape, a swiss army knife and some plyers that the cook had loaned him from the back room of Mama’s Home Fried Truck Stop. Jim had to fix the truck so he could drive from Eugene to Joseph Oregon and meet with Senator Mark Hatfield’s aide on a day hike in the Minam River Canyon. Jim frantically worked on the motor while I peppered him with questions.

    I was a student working on an alternative energy plan for Oregon’s future. My portion of the plan was to explore the impacts of Geothermal energy development.

    “What is the position of the Oregon Wilderness Coalition regarding geothermal energy development?”

    “Depends on where they develop. Ouch. Hand me that duct tape will ya?”

    Me:(Handing Jim duct tape)
    “Um, well it needs to be developed where we find hot water springs or steam.”

    “If it’s in a roadless area we’re against it. What time is it?”

    “What’s a roadless area? It’s about three o’clock.”

    “Damn. I need to make it to Pendleton by eight or nine. Can you turn the key? Roadless areas are like wilderness but they aren’t protected yet.”

    The datsun pickup fires up. Jim climbs in the cab and takes off. I am left with my thoughts and the beginning of doubts that will haunt me for the next 35 years. Everything impacts everything else. No action is without reaction.

    I never finished my degree in Geology. My curiosity drove me to find out more about Roadless areas and wilderness protection. Wilderness activism dominated my life for the next 12 years until I moved to Montana in 1985.

    Earth Day 2008 is a time of sober reflection for me. For 35 years America has followed the Nixon/Goldwater/Reagan credo that private enterprise will solve all our problems.
    Stupidly handing over the management of our country to profiteers has left once proud America bankrupt and groveling at the feet of Europe and China to pay it’s bills. We have no decent efficient ground transportation. Our trains are a joke. Our infrastructures are crumbling. We fill our cars with gas we can’t afford to drive to jobs that pay poorly so we can to pay for mortgages on houses we are destined to lose. Maybe it is time to go back to the campfires again.-PB

  1. 1 Recycling glass: redux « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] to do with all this glass? I wrote about the glass dilemma before and commended Bozeman for recycling the stuff. Some comments to that post had the audacity […]

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