Each year for the past – ohhhh, too many years – I decided that I would do better in the recycling process. Actually, I decided that I would attempt recycling. I thought I needed a nice new recycling center. Go figure. That never happened. What I learned is that “do better” does not work. Plans are in order, understanding, awareness. All that usual crap that is part of learning anything. So ( you knew that word was coming) this summer, I have improved. Cleaning out everything has been at the top of my list of life changes – I think I’m moving but don’t know it yet. In the process, I have been recycling almost everything that was in closets, under counters, in the basement – give it away, use it, or donate to recycle bins.
First, I put an attractive basket in my kitchen for newspapers. I (we) filled it up with newspaper, magazines, catalogs, and I made an initial trek to the recycling bins that aren’t too far from my house. There, I began to notice what other people were recycling. I kept up with recycling the newspapers for about a month. So far, so good.
One Friday morning, I noticed that one of our garbage cans had not been emptied by our waste management. Hmmm. I called to find out the problem. No one seemed to know (No, I didn’t have grass clippings in the can). But, by the way, they had recycling bins that could leave next time. Hmmm. Along with the bins came a sheet of paper that mentioned which items they recycled – plastic, glass, cans – and I didn’t even have to sort them. This is easy. Okay, I can wash out plastic that has a neck. We have a lot of gatorade bottles. The other kind (I guess a bucket?) has kinds of chemicals which our waste management doesn’t recycle. Check with yours – could be different. I can add cans and bottles to that group. I can do this.
Now, I’m even using different language. That goes in recycling. Here, let me wash that out – it can be recycled. It hasn’t been difficult at all. Just mind-changing. Attitude, awareness – all that stuff I discussed earlier. And as a DIY enthusiast (watching the television show, not actually doing it), I am beginning to notice all the recycled materials they are using. Hey – some of my stuff could end up there.
I know I am behind in this department. At least, I feel like I am. Sometimes we need encouragement by the people around us, and sometimes we need to be the ones to push the envelope. Wait – you can recycle that envelope. And that mail you didn’t want (that has no personal info on it – or shred it first before you recycle it), and those catalogs and magazines you are finished with. I’m surprised. This really isn’t that hard, and I’m remembering to do it. I have a feeling that at some point, my grandchildren (or greats) will be shocked that we threw things away. There’s a political platform for the future.
Now if I could only remember to take my reusable bags back to the grocery store.