Friday, August 20, 2010

If You Water it, Nothing Will Grow

A few months ago, I posted a facebook status which read, I "ha[ve] the urge every morning to tell [my] doorman that no matter how much he waters the sidewalk, nothing is going to grow.

I don't know why, but some things just bother me... Subsequent to this, I moved to the UWS and started witnessing it at the JCC I walk by everyday. I decided to get active and this is what I sent.

My Email:
Dear JCC in Manhattan:

I am a local UWS resident and walk by the JCC building every morning on my way to the subway. Each morning, the JCC's staff "waters" the sidewalk, I assume to clean off a few leaves and dirt. While the method may be effective, and is seemingly much easier on the staff than using a broom, it amounts to a colossal waste of water. Assuming that a gallon of water is used every 15 seconds and it takes 30 minutes to clean your sidewalk, the JCC is pouring 120 gallons of clean water down the drain daily. (This Article estimates it could be 2x that). As I walk by the JCC each morning, I get angrier and angrier to the point that I want to yell at the staff member and tell him "no matter how much you water the sidewalk, nothing will grow." While private residences also conduct their business similarly, wasting water for the purpose of lazy cleaning does not seem very Jewish to me (environmental stewardship is a core Jewish value). In the age of conservation, in the most liberal enclave in the country, should a non profit JCC be conducting this type of activity? I think not.

I hope my thoughts have an impact on your practices.

JCC Response:
I received a response within 5 minutes, likely b/c they get this type of complaint all of the time.

Thank you for your concern. However, sidewalks don't get clean of dirt, dust, dog feces/urine and whatever else gets dropped on them unless water is used. So we will continue to use water to wash the sidewalks.

Thank you.

My Response:
Thanks for the quick response and I totally understand.

It's always amazing to me that dogs are allowed to do that... when people haven't been allowed to, for sanitary reasons, for hundreds of years. If the JCC wishes to support a dog euthanizing campaign or a PETA event showcasing how dog ownership in the city is tantamount to animal torture, I'd support that event.

Thank you.

(kidding, I sent w/o the last line)

Feel free to email the JCC in Manhattan similarly.

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