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Earth Friendly: Your view of the street differs from person to person

By By Marie Lester
Aug. 9, 2012 at 3:09 a.m.

Marie Lester

When you walk down a neighborhood street and take time to look around, what do you see? Maybe you see a house you like, or a flowerbed in bloom, or children playing.

All of the things you see around you create your environment.

How you perceive your environment comes from your experiences, your knowledge and maybe even your personality.

I work in the environmental field, so I am attuned to see things including types of trees, migrating birds, litter, trash cans or idling vehicles.

I interviewed people from different professions and age groups to get their perspective on the environment around them. Here is what I found:

Police officer - The police officer sees things that are out of place or unusual. He looks for cars with violations, expired inspection/registration stickers, vehicles running stop signs, unsupervised children playing in the street, kids not in school during school hours, open front and garage doors.

Homeowner/mom - A homeowner/mom said she is always on the lookout for safety. She notices cars veering into her lane and people in crosswalks. She also notices baby/kid equipment in yards such as swings, bicycles, etc. and keeps an extra careful eye out for kids when she sees these things. She is always aware of people in her surroundings.

Tourism - A representative from the tourism industry looks for beauty - an aesthetically pleasing landscape resonates to the core of her being. She notices landscaping and whether it is neat and tidy. She looks for authentic and historic buildings. She notices litter and unkempt properties.

Child - A child told me he sees all the moving cars and likes bird watching. Sounds like his mommy has been teaching him right. Ahem, that would be my little boy.

Everyone had a unique perspective on the environment around them and noticed unique details - though one thing did resonate throughout all the interviews. That one thing was cleanliness. Areas that are tidier are deemed to have lower crime, are safer for children, attract more tourists, and make Victoria a better place to live.

Here are some tips to keep your neighborhood looking neat and tidy:

•  Put your garbage and recycling carts away by 8 p.m. on the day of service; find a place behind a fence, on the side of your house or out of sight if possible. Put your garbage and recycling carts away by 8 p.m. on the day of service; find a place behind a fence, on the side of your house or out of sight if possible.

•  Sweep up your yard waste; avoid sweeping it into the street because the debris can block storm drains. Sweep up your yard waste; avoid sweeping it into the street because the debris can block storm drains.

•  Pick up litter. Maybe take a litter bag with you during an evening walk. Also remember to pickup pet waste if you take your pet with you. Pick up litter. Maybe take a litter bag with you during an evening walk. Also remember to pickup pet waste if you take your pet with you.

•  Schedule a large item or brush/tree limb pickup by calling 361-485-3220. Schedule a large item or brush/tree limb pickup by calling 361-485-3220.

•  Keep your yard mowed and trimmed. Keep your yard mowed and trimmed.

•  Report pot holes, water leaks, junk vehicles and more at victoriatx.org/mobilecsr/request.asp. Report pot holes, water leaks, junk vehicles and more at victoriatx.org/mobilecsr/request.asp.

Marie Lester, is the environmental programs coordinator for the City of Victoria's Environmental Services Department. You may contact her with topic ideas, inspiration, questions and comments at cmlester@victoriatx.org.

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