Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Recycling. Blah.

That title got your attention, eh?  My friend recently posted on her blog about how impractical and expensive recycling can be.  I've lived in neighbourhoods where the town arranged pick-up for the recyclables.  All you had to do was dump everything into one bin, and they took care of the rest!  Here, though?  We're on our own!  We're welcome to recycle, but the sorting is up to us, and we have to drive it to several different spots around town and drop it off.

I read A's post and my first thought was, "Oh, fiew!  I'm not the only non-recycler here!"  And, then, the guilt started creeping up.  As a passive recycler (that is - I recycle when there's a bin nearby, and I turn in my bottles for cash), am I single handedly ruining our planet??  Eeep. 

There's a lot of attention brought to recycling.  Personally (and this will bring me many a dirty comment, I'm sure), I think the idea of recycling is a band-aid solution.  We focus on how we can recycle, and yet, we don't stop to think about why we need to recycle in the first place.  Why are we buying so much stuff?  Why is that stuff wrapped in so much packaging?  We are replacing our old appliances for new, "energy-efficient" ones only to replace those ones in 6-7 years because they're cheaply produced and held together with spit and a prayer.  Really?  Is that energy efficient?  Is that better for the environment?  Is that even affordable? 

So, no, I don't put much emphasis on recycling.  Reduce, though?  Ah, yes.  That, I like.  Reuse?  Mmmm-hmmm.  It's as simple as (and these are not all currently being used by me, but they're still great ideas):

*buying second-hand.  Furniture, clothing, and home decor can be bought for cheap.  Because of our disposable culture, most of it is like new anyway!  When you're done with something, advertise it and make some of your money back.  Not underwear, though.  That's gross.  I'm especially talking to the lady with the yard sale at which she'd hung her leopard print nightie/thong set and slapped a $5 price tag on it.  *shudder*

*gardening & canning.  Mason jars are re-usable for years and years and years!

*cutting back at Christmas and birthdays.  Presents are nice but they don't translate to love.  As a mom, Christmas is one of the most frustrating times of the year.  We're so blessed with gifts, but sometimes it's hard to find a spot for it all.  The best presents are the ones that are useful, compact and of a quality make (nothing worse than having to throw out a gift on boxing day because it broke). 

*passing on books.  Loved that novel?  Send it on to a friend and let them love it, too.

*make your own lunch and use washable containers to carry it. 

*cloth diaper & breastfeed.  Huge money saver if you stick to the basics. 

*be content.  Yes, there's a newer and better model out there, and yes, you want it.  But do you need it?  If your old one is still doing the job, then keep lovin' it.  That goes for spouses, too.  :P

What are your tips for going green? 


Abigail said...

;o) I'm all for re-using! I made a pair of cute pants for Micaiah using an old dress shirt of Andrew's.

Stam-ish said...

I'm also a passive recycler. Its just too much trouble. :) Wendy