Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Friday night: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Hi Miss T,

So I remember one of the first things I learned about living in Seattle, was that there are more recycle bins than garbage cans. Wow. That was a new concept for me. Everywhere we went, if you saw a rubbish bin, you would see a recycling container right next to it. And in your parking garage there was only one dumpster for the dump, and three or four recycle dumpsters. This was the beginning of my conversion to Recycling.

Secretly, growing up I always wished that we recycled more. I can't say that it is for some intrinsically good reason, but it just seemed like good thing to do. I remember walking to school, and popping the tops of pop cans that were waiting to be recycled on Tuesday mornings. What a sweet deal for me, a little kid walking by, getting free pop tops for the Pop the Top school program, because we certainly didn't have many soda cans at our house. And Graci's house next door would always put out that blue bin with milk cartons, newspaper and cardboard in it and it looked so cool when the recycling truck came by, and they didn't just dump it, but they sorted it! Needless to say, I had long admired recycling, but never gotten IN to recycling.

Well, living in Seattle began my applied education of recycling. Every time I went to throw something away, you would stop me and say "Nope, that can be recycled!" Cereal boxes, yogurt cups (rinsed out of course), all kinds of paper, plastic bottles of any shape and size, and the usual newspaper, glass bottles, corrugated cardboard and regular paper. The best thing about all of this was, that it can all go in the SAME PLACE! I was shocked that we didn't need to sort it, because even in Boise it had to be pre-separated, and you told me about the intense and strict sorting requirements there are in Japan for recycling, so to learn that all of these items could go in the SAME bin was, almost unfathomable. What a beautiful thing.

When I arrived here in Provo, I was quickly irritated that everyone was throwing away cereal boxes (and a myriad of other recyclable things)! Oh I had such an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. This was not ok. It bugged me to watch them waste space in the garbage can with things that clearly needed to be recycled. So many things! Look what Seattle converted me into. This needed a game plan.

I found a large box, and I put it in our utility closet (isn't it cool that we have a utility closet? I named it that). Then I informed everyone that recyclables would go in there and I would figure out what to do with them next. Awesomely, because remember please that my roommates are awesome, everyone jumped in a began to recycle with me (occassionally I did pull things out of the trash still...but that's our little secret). Boxes, paper, bottles-all recycled! We got so into it, that the box became full, and then overflowing and then, before we knew it the closet was full!
*Please see picture to the right:

A little overwhelming? Try a lot.

So this past Friday night I was home alone, and I decided to do as Jack Johnson directs in his song and "Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!" I sorted all of these many items into individual recycle bins. A box for milk jugs, a box for paper and newspaper, a stack of corrugated cardboard, a stack of toilet paper rolls, plastic bottles, and a box just full of flattened cereal and granola bar boxes. That looked so much nicer.
* Please see picture to the left.
I then loaded them up in my car. I drove them over to Heritage Halls, the freshman dormitories of many memories, and recycled! We in Provo are not as recycle-friendly as Seattle folk, so not every house has its own recycle bin. I found online that I can purchase one, but haven't done it yet. However, as I drove by Heritage one day, I noticed they had a gajillion recycle bins, so I thought I would make good use of them. I was required to divide up the items myself, but I sure felt great to recycle! What a Friday night! Wooo. I am livin' the wild college life for sure. Wouldn't you agree?

Thank you for teaching me to love recycling.
Love, Recycler Kk

1 comment:

  1. i am so proud that our liberal green seattle has influenced you so much. it is all about the 3Rs