Do you recycle? Why do you recycle? What do you recycle?
Obviously, depending on where you live it can be easily convenient to recycle or rather difficult. And if it’s easy, as it is here in Athens where the city provides two bins–one for paper and one for glass, aluminum, and #1 and 2 plastic*–do you do it or do you just dump it all in the trash can out of convenience? After all, those 5 (for me) extra steps from the trash can to the recycle bins mean 30 seconds of extra time. As a SAH, homeschooling, cooking from scratch-type mom, I know that 30 seconds is truly beneficial and it counts. But before you let go of the salsa jar over the trash can, consider this–
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. -Genesis 2:15
We were given a job. And that is to take care of the earth. So in short, to me, choosing to recycle is a simple part of this job. There are facts upon facts about how much energy, paper, trees and even dollars we can save by recycling. There are facts upon facts about how ridiculously long it takes for paper, plastic, and even glass to decompose while setting in a landfill. I can easily direct you to facts all day long, but I realize that facts may not move you to take those extra steps to the recycle bin.
Here’s my thinking, however simplistic it might be. Not only were we given a job, but God created this earth and everything in it! When we take all of our junk and stuff out of the picture, it is a stunning, amazing, beautiful creation. When I hang one of my paintings, I put it in a place where I can see it. I put it in a place where it will be seen. When I look at it and when my family and friends look at it they don’t stick their chewed gum on the canvas instead of putting it in the trash can. They don’t take my painting off the wall and wipe their sticky fingers on it. Not only is it disrespectful, but it makes more work. If one of my boys did this, he would certainly have to get out the Goo Gone and clean it up.
So. . . what is the difference in us letting the landfill fill up with aluminum cans–or even Hershey’s Kiss wrappers?
An aluminum can in the landfill will still be there 500 years from now.*
Daily about 80,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped (at the factory) in over 50 acres or 40 football fields of aluminum foil–which all can be recycled.*
What is the difference if we toss that salsa jar (glass) into the trash can?
A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose and that’s not in a landfill.*
If recycled glass can be substituted for half of the raw materials that it takes to make glass, the waste is cut by more than 80%. That is about 77 pounds of waste instead of the nearly 385 pounds per ton of glass made.*
What is the difference if we take the peanut butter jar (plastic) and throw in the wastebasket because it’s a pain to wash or takes up valuable space in the dishwasher?
Over 46,000 pieces of plastic debris float on every square mile of ocean.*
Much worse than a piece of gum on my painting. Don’t you think?
Get your recycle bin. Put it in a convenient place. My bins are right outside the door to the carport. I don’t even have to step outside to recycle. If you don’t have a good place, get a smaller or prettier container to use inside and then you can transfer the recyclables when it’s full. Really, people. This is worth your time.
And to those of you who don’t have curbside pick-up, find a designated place for the things that your county will recycle and then set aside a time for a trip to the area recycle center. My parents live in the country. They have a place in their garage where they collect the recycling. When the designated place fills up, they take the recyclables to the county recycling center.
And since many towns have a “pay as you use” method for charging for trash, it will save you money. Our family of five has the smallest garbage can (32 gallons) offered by Athens-Clarke County Unified Government. Rarely do we even fill it half-way with trash. More often, we fill up our recycle bins to nearly overflowing. Do you really want to spend more money on trash? And if you do, use that beautiful brain that God gifted to you and think of something better to spend it on. I’m sure you can do that!
And don’t think I’m done with you yet!