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Finally a New Years Resolution I can keep!

This year on January 1st, I thought about my life and what I wanted to change. I rarely make New Years Resolutions, and the ones that I do make are usually “try to eat better” and “quit smoking” (still trying to do that one but it’s hard now that my husband has picked up the habit just as I was hitting my six months without smoking.)

This year, I decided to finally give up unnecessary waste. This means that before I go grocery shopping, I have to make sure I make a list of what I’m getting so I don’t buy stuff I don’t need, pay attention to how much packaging things come in and choose products that use less or recyclable materials, buying meat from the butcher so that it doesn’t come on a Styrofoam pad, and using my cloth bags instead of plastic bags. I also have decided to stop getting food delivered to my house because of the packaging, and ordering a small amount at restaurants so I don’t get to go boxes.

I have also become more diligent with my recycling and even started recycling glass which is a big pain in the butt in my town. Over the last three weeks, my house of three adults has only produced five bags of trash, and two of those were just cat litter,which can’t be helped as far as I know.

One rule about resolving to produce less waste is that I promised myself and my housemates that it wouldn’t get in the way of basic hygiene and sanitation. I didn’t go through my house throwing away all of my butt wipes and paper towels. I might in the future change some things like wearing my Diva Cup more often or making my own laundry detergent but as of right now I still have items from last year that would be better to use up than throw away.

I have been making a conscious effort to reduce my consumption, reuse what I can, and recycle the rest. Throwing away anything makes me sad right now. And throwing away food makes me mad so I have been trying to make only a couple of days worth at a time. I can’t wait to buy a house so we can make a compost pile with our kitchen scraps and install solar panels.

I have also been making sure to take a bag to pick up trash when my dog and I go on hikes. We have been doing this since I got her three years ago. One of our favorite activities is to go to a creek that is a popular party spot for the kids and find trash to throw away. It gives us something to do while we’re out and it makes me feel like I’m helping the ecosystem of that creek as that place gets really trashed.

I have to admit, after being diligent about this for the last few weeks, going to wal mart and seeing people leave with a cart overflowing with plastic bags and packaged food is disheartening. Going on a hike and seeing that a group had a party in the middle of the woods and left all of their stuff makes me angry. Driving behind someone who dumps their fast food out their window is infuriating. Sometimes I feel like “what’s the point”. But I guess the point is that I feel better about myself and I hope that maybe I could inspire someone else to do the same. I’m trying to do the right thing for the planet, and I know there are many people like me. I hope that I can create change in my city by promoting recycling and green legislation. I feel like it should be a nonpartisan issue.

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Why is it so hard to find a place to live in Cape Girardeau that allows pets?

The closest thing we could get to a "family picture"
The closest thing we could get to a “family picture”

Why is it so hard to find a place in Cape Girardeau that allows pets? I understand that it is hard to clean up after when the person moves out, and many landlords have been jerked around by pet owners saying their animal is less than 20 pounds or something but in reality it is a German Shepherd puppy just waiting to chew up all of the doors and walls when the owner leaves it alone to go to work. My grandfather is a landlord here in Cape Girardeau so I have heard all about it. He rents one and two bedroom economy apartments, and for the most part he doesn’t allow pets. Cats are usually OK if you ask him, but no dogs. He has had many problems with people who sneak dogs into the apartments to keep, and since they didn’t inform him he doesn’t get a chance to charge a fee or raise their rent prices. If the apartment owners allowed pets to begin with, they could potentially earn more money from the good renters who have well behaved dogs regardless of breed. The only reason why I got to live in one of his apartments with a pet is because I am his granddaughter, but now I’m older and I no longer want to rent an apartment when for just a little more money, I could rent a whole house. This last week I have searched high and low in Cape Girardeau for a nice place that my boyfriend, roommate, Pug, and two cats could live. We have been living in a townhouse for the last two years, and now I feel like its time to move on. Through our search for the perfect home to rent, we have encountered houses that fit our needs exactly including large backyards, washer and dryer hookups, central air, and a dishwasher. The only thing is that those houses don’t allow pets. Why is that? I feel like a well behaved adult dog is the same if not better than having a child in the house as far as cleanliness goes. I can understand paying a little more in rent, or preferably paying a pet deposit.

I checked with a few local rental management companies in the area to see what I could come up with. SOTO property management , a popular rental company in the area, had 18 homes listed for rent on their website. Of those eighteen homes, only three allowed pets. RentSemo, another rental company in the area, has this on their website under “Single Family Residence” rentals. UntitledeeeeIn fact, none of their rental properties allow pets. Even three out of the five rentals in the Classifieds section of the Southeast Missourian specifically say “no pets”

Some people in this area will put a place to live over the lives of their animals, and will take them to the Humane Society. Everyone can agree that there is already too many dogs and cats in the Humane Society, and we should be doing everything we can to save those animals or at least preventing family pets from ending up there. My roommates and I are going to continue to look for a place that allows pets of course, but it’s hard. My dogĀ is 12 years old and honestly she has seen better days. The next move we make is most likely going to be her final home, then we will have just two cats. Most landlords look at the situation objectively and see a 24 year old girl with three animals. They don’t see that all three of my animals favorite pastime is napping in a beam of sunlight. I can see both sides of the story, and as I said before it only takes one person to ruin something for everybody. I just really wish that for a town so pet friendly, with water bowls for dogs outside of local businesses and some establishments even allowing pets inside, there would be more rental properties allowing pets near downtown, and more landlords would be open to the idea of renting to pet owners on a case by case basis or setting a flat pet rent like the townhouse that I am currently renting.