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{Empty title} | The Nation

I moved to DC from Northern California seven months ago and was struck by two things here: the amount of greased, fatted, salted, sugared, carbohydrated and processed foods you eat on the East Coast for the amount of physical exercise you don't get; and the proliferation of plastic, paper and styrofoam products that litter the trees, doorknobs, food take-outs that generally trash the place up. Oh, and recycling? Still a "modern" idea whose time hasn't yet come to the minds of most of the residents of this part of the US. Oh, and outreach to immigrant communities on this subject wouldn't hurt, either.

And all this in the nation's capital? The mecca of the world? With the national mall looking like it's been used as a soccer field for decades. And treees? Ha! They fell old-growth with impunity! And no community input, just bzzzzzzz! and then it's gone.

There are some great groups and people trying to get the East Coast, and especially its cities, to clean up their act after generations of neglect and stubborn resistance to change. There was never any competition for California to take the lead on all of the vital issues of our time. I look to the West and Southwest for the answers; soon we'll be paying some wind farmer in Texas for the energy we use here!

But seriously, Old World, pack out your own trash and clean up your campsite.