Posts Tagged ‘trash’

5 excellent reasons you should give a crap about recycling

December 27, 2011

i was told the other day that i recycle because i’m a democrat.

after fighting with my eyebrow, which after shooting up as quickly as it did was dangerously close to getting stuck in an upright position, i replied that people of all political affiliations recycle.

the person i was talking to replied, “yes, but you know, the whole going green thing, it’s such a liberal thing to do.”

when faced with (il)logic like this i am always at a loss for words.  it is one thing for someone to say, “studies show the energy used at recycling plants heavily offsets the environmental benefit gained from recycling.”  this can set the grounds for actual exploration, debate and discussion.  but statements like this are the ones that make me bang my head on the desk when no one is looking because i am sad that in this world people can still think this way.

so if you are a person who does not think about it, here are five quick and easy reasons you should give a crap about recycling.

1. landfills suck.  the more we recycle, the less we shovel into landfills.  landfills, despite containment efforts and standards, are rife with things like human waste, decomposing plastic, and toxic computer chemicals that leech into groundwater and soil.  they are also one of the largest contributors of methane gas to the destruction of the ozone layer.  the less ozone layer we have, the more cancer we get.  and cancer sucks just as bad as landfills.  if we’re pumping this much methane gas into the environment, it makes us no better than all those burping cows that are doing the same with their rumbly guts.  do you really want to be on par with a burping cow?

2. it’s too hard for you to avoid it without being lazy.  i am lazy, you say, and i don’t care who knows it.  well, all right.  while you’re at home explaining your position to your realdoll, the rest of us who have other people directly affected by our actions (spouses, children, family, pets, customers, guys we regularly beat up at the bar) will adjust our round tuits and realize that recycling is really not that difficult anymore.  if you live in a city with a recycling program, they make it easy and put a nice big bin next to your trash bin.  if you can take out the trash, you can recycle.  take five minutes to learn what can be recycled and what can’t, and easy as that, you’re a pinko commie liberal.  just kidding.  you can recycle and hate gun control.  you can even recycle your guns (in some places.  please do not ever place a weapon in a recycling bin.)

if you’re like me, and live in an area where there is no curbside recycling, then proceed as follows: buy a laundry sorter at wal-mart, separate your recyclables accordingly (newspaper/cardboard in one, plastic in another, aluminum in the third), and, next time you head to town to go to the mall or the feed store or the NRA meeting, pause at your local recycling place and dump the sacks out.  not knowing where the recycling center is in your town is no excuse anymore, either; Earth911 will tell you in 2 seconds.  go!

3. it helps raise money for our severely underfunded schools.  sometimes people won’t do something unless it’s attached to the mean, green almighty dollar.  these days, a lot of schools are using the paper retriever program, which pays schools for newspaper, cardboard and magazine recycling.  if you’re looking for a way to give back that requires very little effort, take those old papers you’ve been hoarding in the garage and drop them off at the nearest bin. maybe if you have a newspaper subscription, ou could find a way to use it as a tax write-off.

4. you don’t actually want to wallow in your own crap, do you?  it took a lot of effort to reduce litter, and now it’s taking even more effort to take the next step toward recycling.  but to me, the math is simple.  more consumption = more waste.  more waste = more litter.  more litter = more filth and problems for all of us.  if you have kids, you should be especially mindful of the fact that you’re trashing the world they’re growing up in.  it doesn’t seem like a big deal to most of us until our toddler decides they want to pick up and play with a natty ice can or a plastic bottle full of urine on the way to the park.  some say this is impossible.  i say nay, good people, look closely next time you decide to park at that pull-out along a scenic road.

5. you’re smart. i’m saying this in good faith, so don’t let me down.  humans have the most troglodytic methods of dealing with our trash: dig a hole and bury it.  i think it’s time we moved past this option and used our expanded, eco-conscious, fully functional brains to actually find inventive ways of either reducing our waste or coming up with better ways to dispose of it.

we live in a society of disposable goods, and sometimes it’s difficult to remember that with every article we dispose of unnecessarily, we are adding that much more to our landfills.  try recycling for a month- you’d be surprised how quickly it becomes a part of your life.