Normally, when I run, I observe the houses in the neighborhoods. Sometimes I take note of which architectural styles I prefer, or of the landscaping, or additions to the house, how many have vinyl siding, which houses are newer, how many decades old each house is, and so on. While this might be terribly inaccurate, I tend to think that the preservationists or at least those who are historic-building-sensitive can be identified based on how an addition fits to their house or if there is vinyl siding, and such things. Granted, it’s fairly easy in historic neighborhoods. And, yes, this is subjective, but a fun running game. (I, in no way, advocate this as anything but a game). Some runners prefer trails, but I generally prefer neighborhoods because I like to observe houses and town activity such as how busy the local shops are and what is open late, who is at the park, etc.
A few miles of my most recent run took me through a neighborhood where it happened to be recycling day. Our town just started curbside recycling in January – finally – and it’s nice to see that most people take the time to recycle at least some materials. As I ran I realized that aside from deciding on a home owner’s preservation status, I can judge their level of environmental concern and green actions. This method is much more accurate than judging a house because the recycling bins are on the ground, open for all to see (think of the green bins). Still, it’s just a game to entertain me during these humid Carolina running days.
It’s easy to spot those who are good at recycling. The bins are organized with plastics and paper in a way that as much as possible can fit. Some houses managed to obtain two bins to hold all of their recycling. Others, are not as diligent and while it is important to recycle, including things like unwashed containers and plastic bags in the green bins does not count as recycling. In fact, your bin will not be picked up and emptied if such things are there. Others pack the bin so papers can blow away with a big wind gust. While I don’t mean to be negative, if people are going to recycle, the extra two minutes of reading what is recyclable would go a long. This list may seem long, but part of helping the environment is understanding how.
Still, it is so nice to have curbside recycling. I would bet that many more people recycle now than they did with just a recycling drop-off center.
And there you have it, how a preservationist entertains herself during a long run. Anyone else?