Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fun with Recycling

Alright I admit I am not a "Green" person. I don't bring my own cloth bags to the grocery store (though I usually do to the library, but that's self serving, I hate it when the mountain of books I get break through the plastic bags), I used disposable diapers with my kids when they were babies, and I don't eat organic free-range vegetables and meat that has volunteered to sacrifice it's life for my carnivorous pleasure.

Until we moved here, I also didn't recycle.

Understand, for years I *thought* about recycling. Every time a visitor would ask if we recycled cans, or one of the kids would come home fresh from a Save The World lesson at school and lay the innocent Guilt Trip of "mommy why don't we recycle"? Truth is, I was lazy. I didn't want to figure out HOW to, I knew there was some other truck that picked up that stuff, but where do I get the container? When do they pick it up? What stuff do I put in there? Bah! I don't have to pay for regular trash pick-up I'm glumping it all together in the regular trash.

When we moved here, I discovered we had to PAY for trash service. BUMMER. You pay a different price depending on the size of the trash can you have. The bigger the can, the more costly. Also, they give you a separate recycle trash can too that's included in the price, that they will pick up every-other week. If your regular trash is overflowing they charge you extra too. See where this is going?

We immediately found with a family of four that we generate enough trash, that we can easily make that medium-sized regular trash can overflow before trash day. Time to start Recycling! I grabbed out their brochure, and typed up two signs to tape above the recycle trash can in the house. DO Recycle and DON'T Recycle. And thus it began.

As time has gone on, I've discovered something. I *LIKE* recycling. There is a certain satisfaction with breaking down food boxes, washing out cans, and definitely with not paying extra for overflowing trash or a larger trash can. Also, it feels GOOD. I like that my kids are seeing us and participating in us recycling. I don't feel guilty anymore about throwing stuff away for it to end up in a landfill somewhere where it oughtn't. It's funny that a decision based solely on saving money ends up being a decision that also makes us feel better about ourselves and our care-taking of this planet.

I'm still going to use plastic bags at the store, though. Where else will I get my lunch bags?


  1. hehe I like recycling too (even if Bart doesn't quite get it hehe). It's shocking how much "garbage" one used to send to the landfill compared with how much is truly garbage after you start recycling, eh? :)

  2. Excuse me...WHO typed up the recycle list?

  3. Ditto for Recycling in SoCal! I used to save beer cans and sell them, everything else was trash. Shocking to marry a recyler. We have 5 cans. One for trash, one for recycle, one for yard waste and 2 of our own regular trash cans to collect Glass, aluminium cans and plastic bottles. Cowlifornia charges a nickle for every can, glass bottle and plastic bottle sold in the state as an incentive to recycle. When the 2 regular ones start overflowing, I'm elected to sort and bag and take them to the recycling company a few miles away. We get about 10 bucks a month. Of course, we don't wash nuttin' out so I have to approach 'bagging' part with a hazmat suit on.... Welcome to the club, daughter....

  4. OMG. Next comes composting. I know, I do it. You are being GPNW-erized. Great Pacific Northwest-erized. The first step is always recycling, the next is enjoying it, followed by celebrating "sunbreaks." Finally comes composting. Egads, girl! Get ahold of yourself.

  5. yep.. I'm already starting to celebrate 'sunbreaks'.. but actually after a couple days of them I get annoyed because it's way too bright and I can't find my sunglasses. I don't think I'll compost until I get a "real" house, if at all. Maybe if I start a garden...