This past week I had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time in Washington State for a conference. Although Washington is famous for a different kind of green legalities, it is actually fairly progressive in its policies regarding sustainable living. I was astonished by the amount of recycling and composting stations available in public areas. My soon-to-be graduate advisor stated that, “Most people only put out a small bag of trash each week” all other waste is sorted into various categories of recyclables and composting which results in less actual waste. Within the bigger cities, public transit is very prominent. But these aren’t your everyday buses, these buses are pimped out with new and innovative technology which make them increased magnitudes of fuel effective. These fuel effective buses provide the foundation for the entire public transit system. This type of reinforcement from higher governmental bodies is really encouraging to see in concert with the willingness of the public. This is a model that all states should be utilizing, top-down encouragement and enactment of policies mixed with the bottom-up willingness of the citizens. Furthermore, it was enlightening to see the impact on the younger generations as well. My contact with various children was also very encouraging, those who were brought up under these sustainable practices were so enthused and understanding on the applicability and true meaning behind these practices. In this manner, the progressive nature of the state is actually nurturing a more aware and more sustainable population.
As I have stated before, I believe this should be the model adopted by all the states. The higher governmental bodies gently encourage and initiate the stewardship of the environment throughout generations. These methods aren’t just being applied to small town areas where population density is lower, but in larger cities such as Seattle. This demonstrates the feasibility of these techniques in being applied to more population dense areas. This movement is fueled by higher enforcement, but sustained through the willingness of the individuals of the state to preserve and increase the state of their beautiful landscape. Washington is a sight to be seen on the West Coast, it is naturally landscaped with majestic mountains and unique and complex ecosystems. Thanks to their leading progressive practices, policies and education, it will stay that way throughout present and future generations.