Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Is it worth recycling?

Is it worth recycling?

We encounter it more often now ....sayings that remind us to pay attention to our actions: Tips remind customers that "every bag counts" and that customers can help protect the local environment by recycling their plastic grocery bags.

"We hear environmental messages every day about reducing, reusing, and recycling," said Melinda Barrett, Head of Environmental Affairs for Public Works. "But most people still don't fully understand the impact their actions have on the environment. For instance, plastics account for almost 3.5 tons of our state's trash per year."


I remember when I first arrived in

Santa Cruz, California

last year that I had to giggle

over the difference in the size of the

allotted tiny trash container


the allotted huge recycling container!

As a country girl , the closest thing I ever came to recycling was when we "recycled" a relative in the graveyard and said something about "ashes to ashes and dust to dust."

The youngun's clothes were "recycled" as our jeans were cut off at the end of the school year and turned into shorts. We recycled food as it was scraped off the plate and put in the refrigerator with the reminder that you would see it again tomorrow. Vegetable left overs, meat scraps and broths were always turned into home made soups.

My stay in California was short-lived


I came back to Georgia

seeing through a

new set of glasses


I am shocked over what I see.

In the California office where I worked....paper of any sort was never-ever thrown away.
At the end of each isle of cubicles were locker-sized, secured containers that you would place your paper into and it was picked up as needed by a recycling company twice a week.

The plastic water bottles, yogurt cups, salad dressing bottles and aluminum cans all had there proper place in the recycling bins. We actually had real glass dishes to use for our coffee, snacks and lunches. The large sign above the sink reminded us all to clean up after ourselves and for the most part we did.

The landscaping outside of the office was xeriscaped
(www.eartheasy.com/grow_xeriscape.htm - 50k)
with beautiful plants and flowers native to the area that needed very little watering and
less pesticides.

My yard will be xeriscaped one day as well. Does anyone else find it a little insane that we all have somehow ended up with huge grassy yards that the home owners hate to cut on their limited time off on the weekends? Does it make sense that we purposely place a substance in our care that needs watering when counties such as Cobb are trying to buy water from other sources? Why do we invest in grass that needs to be sprayed in poisons that leech into the ground and end up in the creeks, lakes and oceans? Don't forget our children and pets who run barefoot and roll around in these harmful pesticides as well! Why not choose the native bushes, flowers and trees to our own area that need less watering? I will someday have a huge "zen" area in my yard, complete with nice rocks, sand and yes some wooded rakes ....one day. I will contently rest my toes in my pesticide free = poison free sand, sip a fresh cup of organic coffee and watch my poor neighbors mow their lawns over the weekend.

Now that I am back home in Georgia I have a stirring sensation that "if not me.....then who?" Who will ask others the question of why ... why is the office not recycling the products it uses on a daily basis?

At home I ask myself " if not at this inconvenient moment ...then when?" When will I take the time to rinse a wine bottle, or a cottage cheese container and place it in a box to recycle? When will it be easier to open the door and windows to allow the cool air into the house instead of flicking on the air conditioner?

Today...can I invest a little time to put the bucket into the tub to catch the heating water for my shower...rinse off....then turn off the shower while using the water in the bucket to lather with soap and shave before turning the shower water back on for a final rinse. I wonder how many gallons of fresh water I save by doing that? How much gas do I save? How much money will I save? If everyone in this apartment complex did that how much of an impact would it make?

When will it be more timely to sweat a little? Do I need to sleep under a sheet and comforter with the air conditioner on , or can I sleep in my birthday suit with only a sheet and still sleep throughout the night while using less energy? Why is there a light on in rooms that are not being used? Why not buy the energy saving light bulbs that give direct light and no heat , as opposed to the cheaper bulbs that use more electricity and heat up the room in the summer? Why can't I place a bowl in the bathroom and kitchen sink and make it a game to see how much water I can trap through hand washing, vegetable rinsing and hot water warming to pour into a small bucket and use that to flush the toilet when it is full? How many paper towels can I not purchase and use by using dish clothes and cheap white rags for wiping down spills? For that matter why do we flush after every little tee-tee instead of lowering the lid and flushing every other time? I just turned 45 and until this week this thought never crossed my puney mind.

For my sake, my children's sake, my grandchildren's sake.........how can I possibly not afford to spend $2.00 on a recyclable shopping bag and actually use it over and over, as opposed to supporting more cheap plastic bags in the land fills and the oceans?

I can do that! Call me a California nutt wanna be....a hippy....a tree hugger......whatever.....but I am going to pay attention to how much of a carbon footprint

I am leaving on this beautiful earth that God himself put me and you and you and you in charge of being a steward over! "He who is faithful in a little will be given much" .....so today.....I will make decisions that I can afford and I will afford to take the time to be more careful and do my share to make the world a healthier place to live.

Maybe tomorrow.......

I will have a plot of soil to grow an organic garden on.
Maybe next year .......
I will start the plans my own
earthship home that is solar powered!

Maybe next decade........
I will take my grand kids to see the whales and dolphins in Santa Cruz, California, without noticing one single tourist with a plastic shopping bag or a plastic bottle of water that will one day end up in the land fill or the ocean.
For today......I believe it is ALL worth recycling!

Using a lot less,

buying less

and choosing to buy more used,

re-purposing more,

while making better living choices for


my environment

and the people I want to grow old with.

:-) A recycled Crazy Cowgirl....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.