I just realized that it’s almost the end of October, y’all. Like, eight days left. If you’re in the United States, have you voted? If not, are you going to vote? This is one of the most important elections we’ve had in my lifetime, and you can bet I took my agoraphobic ass out and voted. We took our ballots over to the city hall and dropped them in the drop box there. No muss, no fuss, and no worries about it getting lost in the mail. I don’t care how you vote (okay I do, a little, but it’s your right to vote for whomever you chose, and not my right to tell you how to vote) just do it.
Anyway, back to the prompt, which is not about voting. It’s about recycling. It’s a pretty direct question with kind of a complicated answer. The question is: How often and well do you recycle?
And I’m going to admit, that I’m not as conscientious as I used to be when it comes to recycling. When I was a kid in the eighties, they drummed into our brains Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And it’s been a mantra that I’ve lived with for as long as I can remember. For those who don’t know it goes like this…
Reduce the number of produces you use in your everyday life. I do that I honestly do that. If there’s a way to use less, I will take that option. Having said that, at this point in my life, the reduce option isn’t always available to me. Either the price is too high, or the energy needed to use it just isn’t feasible. But given the choice, I will do my best to use as little as I can whenever possible. Having said that, I’m not fanatic about it. For example, I have a bin of dish clothes by the sink to reduce the number of paper towels I use, but I still use paper towels. Just not as many of them. Like, I’m not one of those “zero waste” people. I just don’t have the energy.
Reuse the products that you do use whenever possible. Again, I do that — and I’m not just talking about using the plastic bags from the grocery store as trash bags. ^_^ There are tons of things in my house that I reuse. Like food jars as storage for other things — and I don’t pretty them up with other produces either because that kind of negates the whole “reduce” thing, you know? Now here’s the thing, I’m not fanatic about this either. Like, I will reuse plastic storage (like Ziploc™) bags if they haven’t held icky food, but I’m not gonna wash them out time and again just to reuse them. Because who has that kind of energy? Not me, that’s who. I don’t have the energy to reuse a lot of things so I pretty much just donate them or give them away whenever I’m done with them. Which is kind of like reusing them. I reuse the food containers from take out restaurants to a point, but we started getting way too many of them, so lot of them just got washed out and tossed in the bin. Which leads to..
Recycle any product that cannot be reused or has been used past its point of usefulness. And therein lies the rub. Recycling in the United States is iffy at best. Like Doug and I will take our cardboard to a recycling station and hope for the best. Well, Doug takes them, I just help him load the car. Ha! And if we have a lot of electronics that have given up the ghost, we call up a recycler for them and do the same. We diligently separate out our recyclable and put them in the big, blue bin, and the city comes and collects it every week. But I’ve read articles that we’re kind of fooling ourselves if we think the city actually recycles anything we put in our blue bins. Still, I can’t leave it sitting around the house, so off it goes and what happens to it after it leaves our house is not up to me.
Recycling though, dear reader, is the last step. We’re supposed to reduce and reuse first. Without the first two steps, the last one is just so much hot air. I try to do the first two as much as I can within my limited constraints. I don’t have the money nor the energy to be as diligent as I was when I as younger. So while I’m not as green as I once was, I’m still somewhat mindful about it.