Monday, July 30, 2007

How to Use the Power of Guilt

Tyson and I just returned from a lovely little mini vacation to Ottawa. I know what some of you may be thinking "Why Ottawa, you live in Montreal, the most awesome city in the world". We know, we know. But I'll sum it up in 2 words: clean city.

Man, Ottawa is one clean city. It's our countries capitol of course, so really we should expect nothing less. Plus it's a really nice drive if you take some of the smaller roads. Passing by all these nice old barns and old farmhouses got us thinking a lot about living in the country (I grew up in the country, Tyson practically did, right on the edge of Winnipeg). Now we're not about to pack all our stuff into a pickup and say adios to city life, but it got us thinking a bit about how to simplify and make our lives a little more green. Now making our lives more green is a whole other post, but lets talk about cleaning this damn city up for a moment. As mentioned in my Earth Day post a while back, St. Henri (our hood) ain't the tidiest place in town, and a lot of other areas don't have much to be proud of either. Needless to say it was a bit hard to come back to after a weekend away in a fairly litter free zone.

So what can we do to make our city of Montreal a bit happier, a bit greener, a bit more clean? Well, I definitely don't have the big answer. But a small thing that I just realized is that guilt can do wonders.

Yes, guilt.

I think in general that people know that they shouldn't throw their shit on the ground. Sometimes they just need a little reminder. So I like to really put it in their face. So if you see someone drop some litter on the ground, maybe just pick it up and say "oh excuse me, you dropped this...". And then wait for the look of shock and hopefully embarassment on their face.

Or if there's a bunch of junk sitting on the bench on the metro, go pick it up and throw it away. Looking at it and going "oh people are such jerks" is not going to clean the mess up. So pick it up, and hopefully everyone around you will think "oh I'm such a jerk, I just walked by that, and I totally could have thrown it away too".

Anybody else have any tips for cleaning our city up a bit?

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