It's not easy being green. Ever since that First Earth Day, I have been an ardent advocate for Terra Madre, my own Mother Earth. I thought it was very clear that, if we kept on the same path on which we were heading, some terrible, irreversible damage would be done to dear old Ma. So I have been recycling, reusing, remaking. Going along thinking that it would get easier because everyone (read: government) would be on the same bandwagon, streamlining the process. Oh, call me Pollyanna. Or other names spring to mind.
Well, what?, forty-some years later, it's still difficult. One cannot just prance, clad in their poufy dress (you have to read this post) into any store and buy a product that is thoughtfully, carefully and sustainably packaged. One cannot (in this town) put just any plastic in the recycling bin. One cannot be green easily. I will admit that I am a nut about recycling. I can actually envision landfills - and, in my heatedly fermented imagination, they are awful places reminiscent of the worst sci-fi nightmares. So I stand over my kitchen trash can holding the remnants of some over-packaged product that I spent five hours and three times that many miles searching for that didn't come from our Chinese neighbors, and I worry.
Is it a 1 or a 2? Why didn't I think to look at the store!?! In order to find out if I can pop this baby into the plastic recycling bin, I need to read the little stamped number that is so incredibly tiny that it cannot be seen by the human eye. I put on my reading glasses and go in search of a magnifying glass. Packagers are ageists! And woe is to me if the number that I can finally decipher is NOT a 1 or a 2. Then I have to rummage around in that same fomented mind to come up with another use for it. If I cannot, I am forced to drop it in the - gulp - trash. And I am wracked with guilt in imagining it sitting atop a mountain of disposable diapers off the coast of Long Island for a nuclear age.
It should not be a surprise that I take personally the fact that Styrofoam was introduced on the year that I was born.