For the last few years we have done our best to recycle the things we use. Loads of cans, bottles, plastics, boxes, etc. don’t go in the trash anymore and make their way to the recycle center every other Saturday. (That is usually the plan. Bad weather and Christmas gave us 5 weeks worth to take not long ago!)
I like that we are being conscious about what we do. It makes sense that little decisions can affect the big picture. That five week span of recycling building up in our garage was a small picture of what builds up all across America in recycling centers. By choosing to reuse instead of throwing away, we make a good choice.
Recycling has another more personal meaning to me though. Recycling is a staggering self portrait. By saving cans, bottles, and other items that you consume throughout the week, you have a picture of who you are and what you value, and maybe even your physical condition. Were the boxes you recycled all frozen pizzas? How much of that plastic held sugar infused items? What exactly would your recycling bin look like?
This hit me in the face not long ago. I have been a soda addict for years. At one point I was drinking an equivilant of 3 liters of Dr. Pepper a day. I was addicted to the caffine and the sugar. So, I switched to Diet Coke. Not really a better choice. My addition to soda continued. There were cans and cans and cans in that recycling bin. I tried to justify it for a while, but it is hard to ignore when you have to take it to the center and sort it. So, I have mostly given it up. Only a couple a week now. Sorted the bin this morning. Only 6 cans for two weeks. Not bad.
Do you recycle? What does your bin look like? It speaks volumes if you let it.