Recycling Attitude Change

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.


Whew, what a week.

They happen, don’t they?  Those weeks in which I pass by a mirror and don’t see anyone there. Either I’m moving too quickly or I’m invisible to me.  Either way, I have to finally come up for air and realize that I’m still here, and my goals are still lingering out there in front of me but I have to reach out and grab.  Sometimes I  miss, but I keep grasping as long as something else hasn’t suddenly gotten my attention.  Oh, how I long not to be ADD. 

I received an email about going green.  I confess that this is one issue I have not taken on.  Except for the occasional guilt I have when adding to the mountains and mountains of existing trash which we have on this planet.  If you’ve seen “Wall-e”, it isn’t a pretty sight.

I do try to think about it now and then, and figure out how to at least try to do better.  I did take a look at this to see if there were some simple things I can do to try to incorporate my love of this planet into some kind of (small) action plan.  Take a look.  Share any ideas which you are using that can be adaptable by a ridiculously busy and often misdirected woman.  And I’ll give it a gander.  Oh – we do recycle newspapers.