Houston, you've been called the fattest city in the country, the smoggiest, the one least likely to win a World Series anytime soon.
Get ready for another title: The Country's Most Wasteful City.
Well, not exactly the most wasteful city -- there are probably smaller places out there that waste more -- but of the Top 25 cities surveyed, we came in 25th. So officially, we're really not the most-wasteful, just dead-last on the list of the 25 Least Wasteful.
The study -- as with all such things announced by a press release -- is as highly scientific as it needs to be. It was done by Nalgene, which makes some kind of eco-friendly reusable water bottle, something we obviously wouldn't be interested in here.
Researchers studied everything "from recycling to rain barrels to walking and buying second-hand clothes, and before you laugh at the rain-barrel thing, that's one of the few places Houston scored well on.
For instance, Houston's high rankings include 5th in the nation for using rain barrels and 6th at shutting off the lights when not in the room and reusing wrapping paper and ribbons.
Houston ranked at the bottom (25th) in the categories of: recycling, throwing out less than two bags of trash a week, buying locally, using reusable grocery bags, and borrowing books from the library (or buying used) rather than buying them new. Houston residents also ranked 24th at participating in their city's sustainability programs and avoiding buying bottled water.
Well sure, we suck at recycling but goddammit, we know how to re-use wrapping paper!!
"This survey is fun way to get individuals to think about environmental and financial impacts of everyday actions," said Eric Hansen, the product market director for Nalgene-Outdoor. "The results remind us all that simple steps can make a big difference over time."
Sounds fine. Houston, print this item out a copy of times, plan to send it snail-mail to a dozen friends, then throw the stack out in a week or two, all while committing the cardinal sin of buying new books (What do these guys have against authors earning a living?)
Then toss your regular ol' plastic water bottle in with the rest of your trash. We have a reputation to live up to, after all.