Wednesday, 16 April 2008

thoughts fuelled by a dumpster....


In the few months i've been in the US, i have been surprised about the amount of trash that is generated. Most of the things used in everyday life are disposable, and add to the quickly increasing pile of trash. (cups,plates,napkins are common, but do things like baking trays and contact lenses need a disposable version...) I think Indians by nature reuse things more....almost everything is given a second lease of life...from clothes,books and toys passed on from older to the younger children, to plastic bags and bottles used over and over again....
well, something is thrown out only if all possible means of repair or reuse have been exhausted...
a few days ago,i looked out of my window one morning and was apalled to see a big white mattress, with no visible damage to it, dumped into the trash bin(and was removed soon after).
i should say i was quite shocked by the sight...why would anyone dump a seemingly good mattress in the trash....surely, one could find someone in need of it, some charity organization willing to take it, or atleast put it up at a garage sale or something....
it think it would be nice if everyone would do their little bit to reduce the amount of trash we dump on the face of the earth... this planet has so much to offer us - even if we can never give back as much as we take out of nature,let us do what little we can in minimising the damage we cause...
surely,the world would be a much better place with fewer landfills......
just pause for a minute before the next time you toss something out....

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Cherry Blossom Festival,Washington.D.C

As spring makes an entry around the world, the city of Washington D.C has its own unique way of ushering in the spring… Every year, the thousands of cherry trees along the Tidal Basin (in the banks of the Potomac river in Washington D.C)break into bloom in end march- mid april. The flowers last for just a couple of weeks at the most, and the peak period is just a few days. The flowers are white and light pink, and the entire river bank is a beautiful sight in white. The trees were originally planted in 1912 as a gift of the then mayor of Tokyo, Japan. The trees are closely watched and the blooming period is forecast. A Cherry Blossom Festival is held with lots of events. Thousands of visitors from all over pour into Washington to see the beautiful trees. We went to see the cherry blossoms this sunday and it was a wonderful sight. Though there are thousands of visitors, elaborate parking arrangements have been made around the area and shuttles transport visitors from the many parking lots to the Tidal Basin. Trees full of white blossoms line the entire banks of the Potomac river, and it is a lovely sight as you take a walk down the river. You can also take a boat ride on the Potomac river and take in the lovely sights of the flowers on the edge of the waterfront, as well as the Washington monument on one side and the Jefferson memorial on the other. Outside the Jefferson memorial, a stage is set up and events are continuously taking place (we even heard some Pakistani songs !) There are lots of stalls selling souvenirs and snacks for those who want to grab a quick bite,and yet the periphery of the trees and the waterfront is kept really clean, as there are lot of trash cans everywhere(even seperate ones for trash and recyclable bottles and metal cans....) and people are responsible enough to through the trash only inside them(not leave them strewn around, as I have painfully seen, in most tourist destinations in India...)
Here are some of the snaps i took .... Chk out this link for more details about the cherry blossom festival




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