The latest 2015 television advertisement about recycling in Canada has sent me into exile, hiding from the re-cycling police who are looking for the likes of me.
It shows water bottles, beverage cans and other stuff than can be recycled tumbling out of a post box and asks a question which goes something like this: which one is yours?
In another version of the same ad, discarded beverage cans are sitting on a lawn. Recycleeverywhere.ca has another one targeting the youth.
They are quite effective actually. That is why I call them ‘shame on me’ ads because my recycling strategy is still in second gear.
Recycling Blue Bins
It is not possible to ignore the call for recycling because blue bins are everywhere. There are so many, the blue sky is jealous that it no longer owns the copyright to the colour blue. There are blue bins in hotel rooms, where you can drop weekend newspapers your local paper donated.
Blue bins are outside parking lots in apartment buildings so that you can recycle bottles and cardboard boxes on your way to the car. Municipal blue bins are in your backyard because your city supplies them for free, and also pick them up.
Recycling Starts at the Cashier
The ideal situation starts at the store. I must buy products that will be easy to recycle and not cause more blisters to the environment.
The problem is cash. I am one of the few people on earth who are always looking for a bargain. The cheaper the better. When I see the ‘right price’, I seldom think about the packaging. Will it be easier to recycle this?
Sometimes I remember if the problem is too glaring, like Styrofoam® food trays. That is why I avoid take-away food. Such trays are convenient and cheap for places selling cooked food and it provides jobs for factories that manufacture Styrofoam® but they are not biodegradable.
The Town of Amherst in Massachusetts does not want to see any Styrofoam® trays and cups drifting about aimlessly.
On November 19, 2012 the Town of Amherst Massachusetts passed a bylaw prohibiting food establishments and Town facility users from dispensing prepared foods to customers in disposable food service containers made from expanded polystyrene (EPS commonly referred to as Styrofoam®), effective January 1, 2014. SOURCE:
Failure To Recycle
It is not that I do not re-cycle. I only re-cycle 20% because recycling needs so much time to sort milk cartons from olive oil bottles, cereal boxes from free daily Metro newspapers, shoe boxes from pizza boxes, the list goes on.
I think the sorting is important to make it easier for manufacturers to make re-cycled paper towels, bathroom tissue, bottles, baskets etc. I need a strategy for sorting out my garbage and that is where the problem lies.
I seem to be winning when it comes to grocery plastic bags that came with all kinds of beans, chick peas, wild and brown rice, pasta, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, squash, bread etc.
They come in handy when I buy frozen peas and chicken in bulk, then freeze them into daily meal portions. Buying in bulk is my inheritance from mama.
She and her friends used to go to the Durban vegetable market and divide let’s say, a pocket of potatoes or crate of tomatoes. She also lined cupboard shelves with old newspapers, but there is special paper for that in 2015.
I need more creative ways of recycling, like old school fish and chips shops in Britan wrapping their food in newspapers. The new school wraps the fry-up in paper that looks like newspapers.
Newspapers in general will not be a recycling problem in the near future because some of them have either gone out of business, resorted to free of charge circulation or reduced the price to like a dollar a two. This indicates that we are reading from tablets, iPads, cell phones and computers, if we are reading at all.
I have good intentions really. That is why I still keep the following:
Laptop packaging I intended to drop into the cardboard recycling bin.
I still have the box that came with the electric heater
Why am I keeping the foam core that came with the microwave oven?
I could go on. It is because I wanted to recycle them, not throw them in the garbage. Now, what is the correct recycling bin for the foam core and bubble wrap?
Your Contribution to Recycling
Buy travel mugs or coffee mugs and keep one at work, at home, in the car or in your backpack. You get a discount at Starbucks when you bring your own coffee mug.
If you like take-away food, tell the food shop that you don’t want plastic knives and forks, especially if you going to eat it at home.
If you are a regular at the take-away shop, I don’t think they will mind putting the food in your lunch box.