Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Oh, Kermit! You were so right!

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. 


  1. I'm with you - I do my best to recycle and reuse but "they" don't always make it easy and I admit I don't always remember to take my reusable shopping bags into the store with me.

    In Cairo there was no official recycling program, but the people who picked up the trash took it back to their village and sorted it out and apparently ended up recycling something like 80% of it in. Incredible. Here in MI, I'm happy to have a good recycling program where I can toss it all into a huge bin and it gets picked up once a month. Every place should have such a program...

  2. I will have to show you the site of our "old" dump. It is the most beautiful piece of real estate. I don't know how long it has to be dormant before it can be used again.

  3. Here is something I muse about often, Susan-Why do all kids foods have to come in an individual plastic cup or bag and why do the parents buy individual servings instead of one big bag and dole it out? Why are we raising generations of waste makers. Why do parents buy into it instead of trying to leave a better place for their kids to live and eat? It is just so overwhelmingly depressing when you look at what 99% of the populations does to the earth. Sigh.

  4. What irrates me is the mountain of ads and junk mail that comes in my mail box that I have to pay to have recycled. Every week there are 3 garbage trucks on my road all from the same company, one for recycle, one for garbage, and one for dumpsters.

  5. Jenyfer - I did make a major step in my time "emanicpation" this year by signing up with a trash hauler. They offer single stream recycling which tends to make me nervous.

    Sylvia - I'd be interested in seeing it - all the others have vents to let methane back up into the atmosphere. Just in case there were any thick spots in the ozone layer.

    Jane - Doesn't that just drive you crazy??? We are a very, very lazy society (present company/readers/friends excluded). Sigh indeed.

    TL - I've tried to get rid of unwanted catalogs, ads, etc., but they never seem to end. I am very tempted to box them up and re-deliver them to the local P.O.

  6. The closest thing to recycling we have here in our small town is a big receptacle to put the plastic shopping bags in down to the local Wal-Mart.
    Amen to what Jane said!!
    And on a lighter note, I am so NOT high fashionable! ;-)

  7. We are fortunate to have an excellent recycling facility in our county. Whether our unique population is very environmentally conscious or just doesn't want to pay to have trash hauled away (no charge for taking waste to our recycling center), I don't know but the place is packed whenever you go there.

    As far as baby food goes, anyone who purchases baby food isn't concerned about 1) the environment or 2) their child's health. You can make ALL your baby's food from the food you prepare for your family. Yes, I know, when both parents are working outside the home, you may argue there isn't time to do this. But don't get me started on the COSTS of not having one parent at home to raise the children. Amen. Stepping off soap box and pushing it back under bed.

  8. You are yet again making a great case for me sending Loch up to your place for a season of hard labor LOL! The kid is a wonder with those "numbers"... he is always telling me about the different numbers, more than I ever asked... I'll ask him "what does that say?" and he responds with something that sounds like a definition out of a 3M or Hazmat manual, he's sort it all our for you :)

  9. They don't make it easy do they? I try and have made some progress, But I still have to make that run to the trash dump at least once a week. We do not have trash pickup out here (But that means we do not have the bill for trash and sewage!).
    I have to tell you that the Worms help a great deal and give back a lot of Worm Casts too!

  10. Candy - I think we should (collectively)have a talk with your town council! Oh, yes, I am so NOT high fashionable, too! Aren't those kids a hoot?

    Mama Pea - Hope your soap box can fit two. I am right beside you on that issue. And we think WE are not organized. Even ignoring the time limits, you hit the nail on the head - what about their health and nutrition?

    Erin - Although that is a very tempting offer, have you informed him there is no television service at LLF? He sounds like someone you should keep around for all those thorny math problems...

    Tom - Worms would be a great help. They are something I should think about adding to the homestead.