I live in a metro area. I love it.
I have neighbors that I actually know...I don't have coffee with them, per se, but we talk about the economy, the slumlord and the lack of privacy. I enjoy seeing them.
My other neighbors to the south, since I have moved in--3 different sets of people--are not so friendly or clean. We do not have a fence to separate us and so I can look into their dirt filled yard and wonder why the landlord doesn't make improvements. Instead, he rents the place out to yet another group of people that do not take out the trash, EVER.
The first group had so much shit, overflowing into our yard that one night, I got fed up and started hauling the endless bags of beer, food, pizza boxes and cat litter to the spot where they take the trash away. It was awful...I mean, truly disgusting, the cat litter/urine/feces, but I couldn't stand it, anymore. I think there is still a stain on the concrete where the feces marinated on the ground. No, they did not thank me for removing their crap or even return their bins to the rightful place. I had to.
I talked to Marc and Megan about it one night. She told me that the current tenants were an improvement to the free loving hippies that had lived there previously. She said that the squirrels were aggressive and spiteful. One morning, there was one on her stoop, gnawing on left over pizza that hadn't been properly placed in the bin.
As you can see, I have recurring issues with trash and my nieghbors. As a result of their negligence, I get a weekly visit, by one of the local aggressive squirrels. There is one that has eaten a hole in my screen and feels free to enter my house anytime it sees fit.
It is awesome.
I am armed though with a spray bottle and my keys. I have good aim when it comes to throwing objects at unwanted guests.
The whole purpose of this post is illustrate how useful it is to recycle or at least take your trash out. We are a country that is wasteful. We rarely reuse items, instead opt to buy the newer version or the latest model. I challenge you to recycle for a week. See how your trash will decrease and the likelihood of having unwanted guests increases. My trash is limited to lettuce, coffee grounds and remnants of chips...I always have chips/salsa.
Nevertheless, there are ample drop-off stations in every metro area if you do not have the service available to you. Surprisingly, the Slumlord actually pays for this service. If he didn't I would still recycle my wine bottles, plastic water bottles (although I do not buy them anymore) paper and other recyclable items.
Try it. If you want more inspiration or assistance, check out http://www.reducefootprints.blogspot.com. This is the Change the World Wednesday version for the week of August 19th. Good luck and do your part. Even if it is small, it truly does make a difference!