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Joan Lexau Joan Lexau’s present lesson ‘Me and the Ecology Bit’ brings out how the issue of preserving environment and saving ecology is everybody’s concern and difficult to solve. Preaching about ecology is easy but it is difficult to abide by the rules of ecology preservation.

Sure it is hard to get people to work for ecology. Everybody is in favour of it but nobody wants to do anything about it. At least I’m doing something, going around telling people what they should do. But all I get is a lot of back talk.

I have this paper route. My father had one when he was a kid, so he made me get one last year. Between it and my homework, I hardly have time for playing ball and stuff, some days I get in only a few innings.

But anyhow, on Saturdays when I collect, I put in a good work for ecology. Like last Saturday morning. It was a good collecting day. It had just turned spring and a lot of people were outside.

I went to Mr. Williams’s house. As usual, he tried to pretend he’s not home. But I see him burning leaves in the backyard, so he’s stuck. He pays me, and I tell him. “You shouldn’t burn those leaves. It’s bad for air, bad ecology. You should make a compost pile like we do. Put in the leaves, garbage, and stuff. Good for the garden.”

He doesn’t agree or hang his head in shame. He says, “That compost pile is your job at home, Jim, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” I say proudly, which would shock the idea I hate working with compost. Which I do.

Mr. Williams says, “Well don’t you take a little more trouble with it, put enough dirt on top of each layer? Then we wouldn’t have this nose pollution.”

“Huh?” I say “You mean noise pollution.” “No,” he says. “I mean your compost smells up the whole street.”

My feelings are hurt, but that doesn’t stop me from trying again. I go to collect from Ms. Greene. I have to call her Ms. Greene because if I call her ‘Mrs’, she says she doesn’t have change to pay me.

She is putting her garbage out for the weekly pickup on Monday. She goes away on weekends, so on Saturdays and Sundays, we have to look at the big plastic garbage bags on her lawn. But I don’t say anything about it, I just look at the garbage.

She says to me, “Go pick up that gum wrapper you threw on my lawn. Put it in one of the plastic bags. Didn’t anybody teach you not to litter?”

I hold my temper and pick up my gum wrapper and put it in a bag. Then she says, And there’s a law in this town about keeping dogs on a leash. So, why is yours always all over the place? That dog digs up my garden and messes up my yard, and last weekend Mr. Williams saw it tear open one of my garbage bags.”

“Well,” I say, but I can’t think of anything to go with it. Then I see she is piling newspapers next to her garbage bags.

“Listen, Ms. Greene,” I say, “save those papers for the school pickup, and they can be made into new paper. Save aluminium cans, too.”

“Like the last school pickup?” she asks “When you said you’d come and pick them up, but you never showed up? It’s easier to throw them away a few at a time than have a big mess like that.”

I get tired of trying to get Ms. Greene to do something, about ecology. I go to Mr. Johnson’s house. He makes a run for his car, but I can run faster than he can.

“Just trying to get to the post office before it closes,” he says, huffing and puffing.

“You got time,” I say. “You even got time to walk. It’s only two blocks. You shouldn’t take your car when you don’t need to. The walk would be good exercise and save on gas. And not pollute. That’s ecology.”

“They sure are,” I say. “We had a lot about trees and ecology in school. They make the air better and stuff like that.”

“See that tree over there?” He says, pointing to where there isn’t any tree.

“I don’t see any tree,” I tell him.

“Of course not,” he says. “And no grass either. Because you made a path there taking a short cut from Mrs. Greene’s. There was a little tree just starting to get bigger there until you killed it by trying to jump over it every day. Remember?”

“Oh,” I say.

“And talking about not driving when you can walk. You drive your motorbike round and round your backyard all summer. And your snowmobile all winter. Isn’t that wasting power and making noise pollution too?”

“But it’s fun,” I say.

“Well, I enjoy taking the car to the post office,” he says, “But now you’ve made me too late.” He goes in the house looking very mad.

Then I remember he hasn’t paid me. But I decide to wait until next Saturday. At least I made him not pollute with his car for once.

I don’t talk to the rest of my route about ecology. It’s very boring work, this ecology bit.

But when I get home, I see my mother using the electric mixer.

“You should do that with your old egg beater,” I point out to her. “Save on electricity. Women use too many electric things.”

She says in a very cold voice, So who watches TV twenty-seven hours a day around here? Or is that some other kind of electricity?

See what I mean? Nobody’s willing to do anything about ecology, except me. And nobody listens to me.”

Chapter 1 The Pace for Living
Chapter 2 Me and The Ecology Bit
Chapter 3 Gillu
Chapter 4 What is Wrong with Indian Film
Chapter 5 Acceptance Speech
Chapter 6 Once Upon A Time
Chapter 7 The Unity of Indian Culture
Chapter 8 Little Girl Wiser Than Man
Chapter 1 God Made The Country
Chapter 2 Ode On Solitude
Chapter 3 Polythene Bag
Chapter 4 Thinner Than a Crescent
Chapter 5 The Empty Heart
Chapter 6 Koel (The Black Cuckoo)
Chapter 7 The Sleeping Porter
Chapter 8 Martha
Chapter 1 January Night
Chapter 2 Allergy
Chapter 3 The Bet
Chapter 4 Quality
Chapter 5 Sun and Moon
Chapter 6 Two Horizons
Chapter 7 Love Defiled
Unseen Passage for Comprehension Literary
Unseen Passage for Comprehension Factual
Letter Writing
Essay Writing
Paragraph Writing
Short Writing
Notice Writing
Modal Auxiliaries
Active and Passive Voice
Narration Direct and Indirect Speech
Subject-Verb Concord
Idioms and Phrases

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