gazette logo rev 500

Focus on Sustainability

By Guy Nahmiach

How many chargers do you have at home? How about in your car? I have a charger for every generation of iPhone, iPad and laptop… my son Dylan of course has his own chargers for his Samsung phone, calculator for school and his video game remote controller. We have chargers for the cordless drills and other tools. Could we not get everyone in the same room and say, “Hey, love the different products but can we all agree on the same chargers?” Apparently this would be impeding on the progress and innovation of technology. Apple’s Lightning cable allows a larger threshold of a voltage-amperage combination and extracts or facilitates the electric current in such a way as to charge your phone faster. Tesla’s electric car charging mechanism is different but “better” than other electric cars on the market right now. But that’s a whole other conversation.

Here is the good news, appliances all plug into the wall outlets the same way… well not your dryer or air conditioning units. But that’s because the power requirement is so much more. But industry standards do exist and so your fridge and microwave and even your phone chargers, no matter the brand, all fit the same way into the outlet. Unlike the rest of the world where different countries have different “plug requirements.”

Creating standards and an equilibrium in usage needs can help save dollars for the consumers but also room in our landfills and keep that “junk drawer” from overfilling. Technology can advance with better products, but the option for “faster” or “stronger” can be left as a personal choice.

Sustainability does not mean spending more dollars. It simply means doing more with what we already have. Yes, you can buy a fancy new composter that rotates and attracts the heat from the sun and matches the color of your shed. But you can also use scrap wood to build a box and throw your vegetable peelings in there. The outcome is exactly the same. It’s a personal choice.

Last week, many were expecting the Wheat Ridge’s Sustainability group to ask taxpayers to fund various programs and payroll for full-time positions at the government. This is exactly what turns off people from a green lifestyle. Sustainable practices that help our future generations are simple habits by citizens put into place in their own lives that together make our city a cleaner and healthier one to live in.

It is a personal choice to recycle, grow a garden, walk or bike to work. It’s not about a government imposing any kind of law or extracting any dollars from your hard-earned income to manage the way you live your life. Green living starts at home, not in an elected official’s office.

Wheat Ridge has a rich history of farming and living off the land. Before phone chargers started complicating our lives, citizens worked together to build not only an actual city but a sense of community. Home owners that can agree to use the same garbage collector on each block, organize neighborhood fruit and vegetable exchange programs and even create recycling centers. Wheat Ridge has a long list of commissions and committees that offer opportunities for volunteers to join and contribute to to the welfare of our city. It is up to us to choose the difference we make and the kind of city we hand over to future generations.