Out of Your Car, Off Your Horse

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Out of Your Car, Off Your Horse

Wendell Berry in his essay Out of Your Car, Off Your Horse, lends favor to thinking globally is a bad idea. He endorses the idea of thinking locally. This encompasses beginning small at a local level and expanding out. The key element to his idea is a sustainable city; in this city individuals would buy from local farmers thus increasing the economy of farming. As farming expands there would be a need for more workers to do farming. In his explanation he sees this as spilling over to the city people and encouraging them to become more aware and become more agriculturally responsible. Berry states, “If you want to keep your local acts from destroying the globe you must think locally.” In Berry’s perspective you can’t have global thinking, or protect globally, if you are not acting on a local level.

At first glimpse I am ready to dispute with Berry about not thinking globally. In all of my management course both at the collegiate level and on the job they all continually say to look at the big picture. All aspects of the problem should be considered and what the impact is on the overall system. I do disagree that global thinking will destroy our communities. I also find some of his sustainability ideas to be far reaching. When Berry refers to basically the city folk being forced to become agriculturally responsible, it is just hard to see someone working on Wall Street coming home in the evening to plow his fields. Even though I find those type of ideas far fetched I do agree that for “conservation” to become global it should start at the local level.

If each individual would contribute within their own community the community would reap economic and environmental rewards. The best idea I can think of is recycling. At this point in time there is no feasible way to completely eradicate the need for landfills; the area used could be reduced. If every household and business would recycle the reduction of what goes to the landfill would be greatly reduced.

I worked for about six months at a recycling cooperative. The job of the cooperative was to educate the public on recycling, market the recyclables, and look for ways to bring recycling firms into the communities. This was a very successful project. Several abandoned business buildings were utilized to collect the recyclables.

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