Why is it so hard to recycle?

Over the years I watched others taking action to save the environment.  I did not regularly recycle.  I did not pay attention to how much electricity I was using or how many miles I could have saved by better planning of errands and shopping. I did not take my own shopping bags to the grocery store or pay attention to where my fruits and vegetables were grown. At our house we used lots of paper towels, paper napkins, Styrofoam cups and plates, etc. We drank a lot of canned drinks, and didn’t think anything of driving to Muenster (12 miles round trip) multiple times a day to pick up something or shop.

Lately, I became aware that my energy bills, food costs, and gasoline prices were rising at a fast pace. My income is no longer able to absorb those increases easily. I finally connected rising costs and my concern over our environment with my own behavior.  I decided to do what I could to help the environment and my own budget.

I became more careful about turning off lights not being used, buying fewer things wrapped in plastic or Styrofoam, and taking my own bags when shopping.   I also decided to recycle paper, plastic, glass, and metal cans.  Today I found out that the Gainesville’s Waste Transfer station will take only paper and cardboard, but more needs to be recycled. I learned that it is not certain when, or if, Gainesville would be recycling a full range of recyclable items in the future.  

Discouraged, I went to the website of my waste management company, Waste Connections, and found lots of information on their recycling services and the importance of recycling for protecting the environment.  I called and asked to add that service to our regular pickup.  They told me they did not offer recycling services to any of their customers. I was told there was nothing they could do, even though recycling was listed on their website as one of their services. Next, I called WM waste management, the company that services residents of Gainesville, and was told they do not pick up recyclables for their customers either.

By reading about the economics of recycling these days I found out why there is no place in Cooke County to drop off most of my home’s waste. It costs money to recycle- more money than can be recovered by selling the materials. That means municipalities and waste removal companies are saving money by getting out of the business of recycling.

So, what can I do now?  I can take control of what I buy. I have stopped buying eggs in Styrofoam cartons and milk in plastic jugs.  I am training my pets to accept dry pet food and am giving up the canned varieties.  I carry my own bags when shopping, etc.  The bottom line is that we can protect the environment by changing our own behavior.  We cannot depend solely on local, state, or national governments to save the environment.  Each of us must also do our part to protect the air, water, and land we all depend on. If we can’t recycle, we can reuse and/or reduce the waste we create.

Jittering the Census Data ?

Trading Accuracy for Privacy in Census Data

As you know, many social disparities are identified, studied, and addressed  by analyzing census data.  However, in an effort to protect privacy, the Census Bureau plans to use new mathematical processes to alter 2020 census data.  The Census Bureau will not make precise alteration processes public but they are taking public comment on the issue.  Of great importance (beyond increasing knowledge of health disparities based on race, gender, age, and geography) is the effect it will have on redistricting and on equitable distribution of public funds. For an explanation of this process and its effects  on redistricting see 

Differential Privacy for Census Data Explained
The U.S. Census Bureau has had a longstanding requirement to ensure data from individuals and households remains confidential. For the 2020 census, it plans to use a new approach: “differential privacy.” This webpage provides background. the current status of decision-making for implementing differential privacy, questions data users may want to consider and more.

While differential privacy is intended to protect confidentiality for respondents, it has implications for smaller subpopulations. For instance, the National Congress of American Indians notes, “The implementation of differential privacy could introduce substantial amounts of noise into statistics for small populations living in remote areas, potentially diminishing the quality of statistics about tribal nations.”

For researchers and others wanting to learn more about how the Census Bureau will “jitter” the data, watch this 12 minute video.

Protecting Privacy with MATH (Collab with the Census) – This video was made in collaboration with the US Census Bureau and fact-checked by Census Bureau scientists.
What to Do!

Providing feedback

Those who are interested in how the bureau balances confidentiality and usability—or, in census parlance, how the “privacy loss budget” should be allocated—can provide comments to the bureau through its data demonstration project, dcmd.2010.demonstration.data.products@census.gov.

While there is no cutoff date for comments, a final decision will be made by fall 2020. Comments received in the spring will be easier for the bureau to incorporate.


My brother, Walt Davis, and his wife Isabel and I put together a game to test knowledge of Texas maternal mortality.

The game is loosely based on Family Feud.  Check it out and feel free to download and use it wherever you encounter curious people wanting to improve women’s health in Texas.  Please cite as Fact Checking Maternal Mortality.2020.www.curious-nurse.com

We would love your comments and feedback.

Lots of Political Interest in Maternal Mortality

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There will be discussion about Maternal Mortality as we head in to the 2020 elections.  Here is the Democratic conversation.

Read about how Kamala Harris plans to address maternal mortality. Notice that she calls out Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism as factors related to maternal mortality.  Texas would do well to do the same.

The Republican response has been to scale back Medicaid and in Texas to rely on the Healthy Texas Women program.

Is there any middle ground?

Circular Journey


Recently, I was asked what event started me on my journey toward academia and research.  That was an easy question to answer.

Take a look at this article,  Outrageous_Outraged.pdf,  which appeared in Nursing Outlook in 1980.  It was written by my former boss when I was a liaison nurse at the City of Fort Worth Health Department.  I am still struggling to solve problems of inadequate care for women giving birth.


Must See Documentary !!!!!!

Tracy Schott shared this link with me today. It is to her documentary on pregnancy and domestic violence. It is amazing. The link is good for 14 days. Share widely!
Schott Productions invited you to screen FJV-Final_TV_Cut_2017-mp4.

Start watching by going to https://findingjennsvoice1.vhx.tv/screeners?

Enter Screener code=150d54cd

Feel free to watch as many times as you’d like and share with other people. This screening expires 14 days after opening the link above. Thank you and enjoy.