In this holiday season it seems there is always another job to do, or list to complete or place to be for the next get-together. Around the City there has been plenty to keep busy with as well, with the ongoing leaf pickup, dealing with the trash pickup around the extra days off, replacing the light pole that was knocked down on the square, as well as the regular activities like meter reading, fixing water leaks and keeping up with the recycling. In the City office, last week I finished and delivered the grant proposal for rebuilding the sidewalks around the square, although we will not hear a final decision on that for several months. Last week the City Commission spent two afternoons interviewing candidates for the position of City Administrator and I hope that at the regular meeting Monday evening a decision will be made and an offer of employment extended. As I started out by saying, it is a very busy time but I want to add that we should all take a few minutes to pause, enjoy and be grateful for all of the many blessings we have.
As we approach the ending of one year and the start of another, we often consider New Year’s Resolutions to help make our life a little better. I came across an article that pointed out a number of great resolutions that would help us individually and as a community, and during the next couple of weeks I want to share some of them. First, resolve to reduce waste and conserve energy by recycling paper, metal, plastic and other materials. If the citizens of the City of Mason recycled and composted all of their recyclable materials, almost 80 percent of the municipal solid waste could be diverted from our landfill!!! Recycling one ton of paper is the equivalent of making paper from 20 or more trees, and also saves 7,000 gallons of water and 4,000 kilowatts of electricity. We have been collecting and baling a ton of paper and cardboard every week or ten days in Mason, but it would be great to double that in the new year. Would you help?
A few other ways you can recycle right here in town, bring your used and outdated electronics to the recycle yard and we will get them to Goodwill Industries who will take them apart for recycling. We also collect used motor oil, and every little bit helps to save the energy it takes to get more. Also, if you can, compost fruit and vegetable waste from your kitchen and all the leaves and yard waste, since this compost can serve as a great soil conditioner and reduce the need for water.
It would also help all of us to resolve to use less paper in the new year. Use cloth products whenever possible, use dish towels instead of paper towels, cloth napkins instead of paper, and an old-fashioned handkerchief instead of facial tissues. Switch to reusable shopping bags and leave the plastic or paper bags at the store. Take your name off marketing mailing lists by calling or e-mailing companies directly or by using a service to remove your name. Junk mail accounts for millions of pounds of solid waste every year.
It takes many little steps to make our community a better place to live, and now is a good time to start a few new habits for the year to come. One of the most important things each of us can do, is to pause and remind ourselves how special this season is, how important our friends and family are, and how wonderful it is to live in the best hometown in Texas. This week take an evening to drive around and enjoy the lights around the square and throughout the neighborhoods, take a few minutes to visit with your neighbor or a friend that you don’t see often, and please take some time in your busy days to remember that this is the season when we are called to reflect on the great gift that God gave to the world centuries ago and continues to give every day. Mason is a special place to call home, to live and work and raise our families, and now is a time to take a few extra minutes to enjoy the gifts of community and the gifts we have been given every day.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley