Sunday, April 28, 2013

Recycling Is Common Sense

I watched CBS Sunday Morning, as I always do on Sunday morning, and was struck by a story on recycling. Jeremy Irons has produced a documentary on the topic and I was appalled at the pictures of dump sites, one of which was in a river, which spilled into the ocean. He showed how those in India would just take their trash and dump it in the river, which then spills into the greater ocean; which not only pollutes and clogs the water, but kills ocean animals. I think everyone knows that they should recycle, but so few do. I think there are definitely more communities that lend themselves to recycling and make it easier; especially if the city offers curb side recycling pick-up. Because I live in an apartment, I don't have that luxury. We are given two large dumpsters, but neither are for recycling. So, If I want to recycle, I need to be organized and proactive. Which is what I plan on doing. 

I've perused the internet on ways to get started. My apartment kitchen is quite small, it's a galley style kitchen with just enough room for my dishwasher door to open all the way. Two people can stand in there, but three would be very tight. So, space isn't on our side, but there are only two of us in our apartment, so we can get by with less space. The key to recycling is getting organized and having some type of recycling center with labeled bins. Before putting anything into the bins, make sure you rinse and clean them off. This will save you time later having to clean up sticky residue from the bottom of the bin or floor. Let me back track, you'll need to find out what your city/town will accept for recycling. Since you live in an apartment and most likely don't get curbside pick up, you'll need to research your town's waste management and see if there is a drop off for recycled materials. Thankfully, a municipality roughly 10 minutes from me has a great set-up. You just drive up and empty each specific recycled item into the clearly labeled large bins. They will accept plastic, paper, cardboard and glass. I would recommend having a set day that you take the recycling to the drop off, that way you're not overwhelmed by having too much to take and won't be likely to get frustrated and give up. 

Recycling is great for the environment, but I know it's much easier to just throw everything in the trash. But imagine all of your trash just floating in the ocean. That image makes me sick and makes me want to do better. Yes, I'm embarrassed to say, I have not been recycling. I wish that recycling was taught in schools. That would be much more useful information versus calculus. As a former social worker, I never needed or used calculus. But, seriously, schools should have a class devoted to real life issues, such as balancing your checkbook, creating budgets, recycling and other basic life skills. I think that those classes would benefit everyone. For items that are not accepted, like furniture and tools, etc. You can check out a site called "Free Cycle". I recently had a bed donated to me, so we had to get rid of our "old" one. I joined free cycle and had 10 offers for it! It's a great "group" via yahoo, that allows you to donate, for free, any item and you can include a picture. The person wanting the item is responsible for picking it up, so it's a win-win. 

Recycling is common sense. There is no excuse for not recycling. Your trash doesn't just disappear when the trash man takes it from you. Sadly, most of the trash doesn't break down for years, if ever. Like Jeremy Irons said regarding his documentary, "this is curable". All of us can recycle. Recycling is a small step in doing your part for your community and the greater world. 

No comments:

Post a Comment