Tennesseetransitions


New Normals

The annual local Christmas tree shredding event, “Chipping of the Greens”,  was begun in 1990, with an all time high of 20,000 trees donated for chipping into mulch in 1998. Last year, the number of trees collected was down to 3,000. The is no longer cost-effective and will be discontinued, even though the city will continue to collect trees and shred them for landscaping mulch.  There has been a significant reduction in the number of real trees used in decorations.  Artificial trees are the ‘New Normal’ it seems. Trees can be placed curbside in Johnson City and Kingsport for residential collection beginning the day after Christmas through the third Saturday in January.  Trees may, also, be unloaded at Winged Deer Park boat ramp parking lot.  The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency creates fish habitats in area lakes by sinking the trees. 

What are some other ‘new normals?’  Serial shootings. Fiscal cliffs. Smaller wage hikes. Cell Phones.  Long Term Care Insurance. No insurance. Staycations over Vacations. Long Term Unemployment. Higher climate temperatures. Lower blood pressure standards. Stronger and more frequent storms. $3 plus per gallon for gasoline. New Iphone releases. Type II Diabetes.  GMO foods. Higher food prices-hey! I thought those GMO’s were supposed to save us all!  Planned obsolescence. 

You know what? Just for fun, I’m going to list some POSITIVE ‘new normals’ that I’ve also noticed:

Social Networking and blogs. Civic awakening. A weekly TV show called “The New Normal” about how a gay couple  and a mother form a family unit when she helps them have a child (which I’d never heard of until I began doing some research for this post). Open source software. Crowd Sourcing. Crowd Funding. Eating and shopping locally. Lower thermostat settings. Forever Stamps. Recycling. Composting. Victory Gardens. Farmer’s Markets. Cities in the US that allow backyard chickens. US manufacturers moving their operations back home.  Transition Initiatives.

 Little Free Libraries …

Little Free Libraries

Increased Bike Sales…

2011 was the first year for over 40 years that more new bicycles were sold than cars in Italy.

2011 was the first year for over 40 years that more new bicycles were sold than cars in Italy.

Here’s the point: The world is rapidly changing, and many of those changes are coming about as a response to the challenges of climate change, resource depletion and global inequity. We can use these challenges as opportunities to transition to a way of living that is  significantly more connected, more vibrant and more fulfilling than the one we find ourselves in today. That’s a ‘new normal’ we can all embrace!

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1 Comment so far
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I’m very glad you ended your post on a high note. I have to believe that all the storms and droughts of 2012 are convincing people that we have to make changes in the way we live. To innovation, conservation and community in the new year.

Comment by Andrea




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