Sustainability | Resilience

When Sustainability is a Creed

Labors of love

Dawn Nelson
3 min readJul 31, 2023

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The Sunday Dispatch ~ July 30, 2023

Glass before destined for a recycle bin. Photo by author, © Dawn Nelson.

This week I discovered that one of my long term efforts to implement glass recycling in the workplace has finally proven effective. I have achieved success through my ardent insistence. It took more than a year.

Despite being laughed at, mind you, often openly. Heathens, I tell you.

Glass recycling is important to me for its intrinsic value, but also because I marvel at this natural resource as a scientist and artist. It is one of the only materials you can recycle as many times as desired. You can melt down glass and reuse it again and again.

Perhaps it is quite literally the sands of time.

I advocate for this because it matters. I know that my simple act of directing glass bottles into the recycling stream means I am doing my part to the best of my ability given what is before me. I find that quite satisfying.

Sustainability often takes hard work. I love the sense of fulfillment that comes from meaningful hard work. It is inherently important. There is nothing quite like this feeling. It is important to feel that what you do matters in this world, because the world will quite often tell you otherwise.

It is this kind of commitment that is needed for developing resilience. Sustainability and resilience are equal counterparts for a robust system.

Most striking about this past week were the extensive regional power outages from a severe summer storm. A rainstorm came through that knocked out power in many areas for several days.

The way we experienced this at the restaurant where I work was that we became a refuge of sorts because our power stayed on. We were feeding what felt like the whole town for several days.

It was busy, and busy at odd times — and hot. Hard to breathe, really.

All week the weather continued to be hot and muggy. It created stress on our team. It felt like slow chaos unfolding for three solid days. We fed a lot of people who needed a place to have a meal. It was exhausting, yet an opportunity to gain perspective on what…

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Dawn Nelson

Artist, writer, strategist ~ writing creative nonfiction, memoir, essay. WIP: 0100 Series & The Sunday Dispatch.