Recycling and reusing were topics of Tabor's One Day at a Time blog Sunday morning. I encourage any and all recycling efforts myself--and have for a long time. We used a lot of space for bins--one for cans, one for clear glass, one for colored glass, one for newspaper--under our cellar stairs long, long before there was any kind of mandatory recycling. I can remembering cringing when work mates tossed paper (special educators can generate a lot of paper) into the wastebasket instead of the recycle bin, and this was after mandatory recycling. I believe this is the source of my high blood pressure, actually, not the other stresses of the job.
Here in Florida, we still have to sort recycles--paper in one container and bottles, cans and plastics in another. The city picks up yard waste, but not compost. In Vermont, we have had all in one recycle for a number of years now. We can take yard waste to the transfer station, along with compostible garbage that cannot go in a backyard cold compost container. That includes paper towels and tissue, hair, laundry lint, meat scraps, bones, greasy pizza boxes, actual grease, wax paper. Very little actually goes into our garbage can at home anymore.
So there is still sorting to be done and now we have two recycle bins, a backyard compost bin, a "hot" compost bin, a returnables bin, and a garbage can. Guests have learned not to try to help me clean up until after the sort...or, like my son, to ask where things are meant to go before just raking off a plate into the kitchen trash. We keep all this stuff contained and neatly out of sight, by the way.
What Tabor's post made me think about--aside from my compulsive nature around handling the trash of everyday life--was the first time my daughter came home from her college dorm. Her comment was, "Mom, do you realize that there are people who do not recycle?" She had been flabbergasted to see a roommate through a shampoo container into the wastepaper basket.
This, in turn, reminded me of the time she came home from a friend's house where she had witnessed the friend's mother opening a drawer in the friend's bedroom and tossing in a pile of unfolded underwear. "Mom. do you know that not everyone keeps their underwear drawers the way you do?"
I mean, seriously? Who doesn't fold their underwear and stack it neatly in a drawer?
You think you are doing your best to raise your kids right and then they go out into the world.